Lyon’s magical festival of lights: solid traditions, beliefs and customs

Melting Sisters lyon festival of lights robots circus girl, wheel and knives

Being in Lyon is like being in a melting pot. A bit of the Savoie and Drome regions. In addition, you can throw in a bit of Italy as well. The yearly festival of lights celebrates Lyon’s customs and traditions. In a contemporary overtone. This is my photo story.

Magical Lyon. On one side you have the river Rhone. On the other a smaller watercourse called the Saone. Between the rivers and the mountain sits Lyon. The Romans once called it Lugdunum.

Melting Sisters lyon festival of lights morning mist and sunrise

Morning mist and sunrise in Lyon

The city is better known as France’s gastronomy capital. Restricting yourself here is not even possible. Stretching the stomach muscles in one of the various “bouchons lyonnais” is mandatory. Bouchons are traditional restaurants serving typical earthy yummy food. Indulging in traditional delicatessen such as “Bugnes” or “brioche aux pralines” is a sport. One you can only oblige to. And i would say oooh so happily.

Lyon’s unique cultural traditions

We strolled the city and reach “la place des changes”. This is the heart of the city in the “vieux Lyon”. The streets are narrow. The buildings are high. Courtyards are the prettiest. The “traboules” are fascinating and surreal. They are tiny alleyways leading from one place to the other through buildings. This is fascinating. A perfect step back in time.

We meander towards the hills to La Croix Rousse. The atmosphere changes as we move along. Also known as  “La colline qui travaille”, it is home to the former working class “les Canuts”.

Melting Sisters lyon festival of lights sunset croix rousse

Sunset in the city from Croix Rousse, Lyon – before we attend the festival of lights

Walking up to la Croix Rousse gets our hearts pumping. Literally. Steps; steps and more steps. It’s very much the case of stop; Breathe; Look back; Marvel at the view. Repeat. The buildings here are strikingly simple with no decorations. The windows are surprisingly high. The silk weaving tradition and culture remains as weavers used to work and live in these flats. Hence the high windows. Street art here is vivid and impressive.

Our wandering continues as we head towards Fourviere. This is “la colline qui prie”. It is home to former religious congregations. The enormous basilica is the reflection of local customs and beliefs. Stained glasses. Mosaics. A profusion of ornaments. The streets are quieter here. The change of culture is fascinating. The view over the panorama below is a gem.

Lyon festival of lights - An overview of the city of Lyon from the hills

An overview of the city of Lyon from the hills of Fourviere

A festival of lights or when magic takes over

Lyon has a seemingly endless relationship with lights. When darkness falls the city glows. The emphasis is on culture. Lyon celebrates its memories. This snowballs during the festival. The atmosphere is that of a magic fairy urban jungle. It wraps the whole city. Buildings come out of the shadow as if wrapped in softness. They blossom into magical living creatures. Renaissance is the world.

Melting sisters - Illuminated town hall in lyon festival of lights

Illuminated town hall in lyon festival of lights

Streets are covered with various illuminations. The same goes with squares and parks. Building facades shine brightly. Roofs dazzle. An array of artists come together to create this magical atmosphere. This is how Lyon expresses gratitude towards Mary it’s guardian angel. This is how Lyon celebrates.

Melting Sisters lyon festival of lights eglise saint jean

A jaw dropping illumination at eglise Saint Jean, vieux Lyon, during the festival of lights

People in Lyon have great fondness for the traditions of their city. This is part of their upbringing. Many have preserved their cultural beliefs for multiple generations. The festival truly cements the age-old traditions and beliefs of these cultures.

Melting sisters - Real life defying dinosaur in Lyon's festival of lights

Real life defying dinosaur in Lyon’s festival of lights

I’ll will return to Lyon again next year for a completely different experience.

xoxo M. Let’s share our inspiration

[SLGF id=1746]