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Lyon Fête des Lumières 2022 Guide in English

Updated: Nov 29, 2022

Lyon Festival of Lights Projections on the Fourviere Basilica and Saint George Cathedral in Lyon France.
The Fête des Lumières in Old Town Lyon in 2018

Before we dive in, if you're hungry, thirsty, and an awesome human, you may be interested in joining me on Sunday the 11th for a highly intimate (3 spots only) gastronomic wine tasting and tour of the Fête des Lumières. See here for more info!

What is the Fête des Lumières in Lyon?

Lyon's annual winter Fête des Lumières is a four day festival around December 8th. Each year different artists create light installations all over the city, but mostly in the center of Lyon, including large projections over our most beautiful landmarks like the Saint George Cathedral and the Theatre Celestins.

It is a fun and festive time, and it is also crowded. The locals enjoy complaining about it, but still enjoy it. Both/and 🤷‍♀️

Dates: Thursday December 8th through Sunday the 11th 2022

Time: Night time

Price: Free

Requirements: Warm, dry clothes and shoes

History of Lyon's Fête des Lumières

The festival was invented on the 8th of December, 1852 to inaugurate the statue of the Virgin Mary at Fourvière. The inauguration was supposed to have been on September 8th, but rain postponed the ceremony. It rained again on December 8th but people showed up to with their lanterns lit anyway to pay homage to Mary.

Today the festival is a free, outdoor, often interactive art festival showcasing at least 40 large scale light installations across the city. It runs for 4 days. The people of Lyon still pay homage to Mary by lighting candles in their windows each night.

I think these are all from 2018
The Cathedral in Lyon during the Festival of Lights

How to prepare for the outdoor Festival of Lights

It may rain, as it did during the first festival. Be prepared in warm, dry clothes. It's crowded, so I would not recommend large umbrellas. Watch the forecast and use your judgement, then suit up. I will wear gloves, a hat, a scarf, ski socks, boots, my long winter parka, and probably long johns under my jeans. If I think it'll rain I'll bring a small umbrella.

Common Questions About Lyon's Festival of Lights

How do I participate in Lyon's Festival of Lights?

Just go outside and walk around once it's dark out. It ends at midnight from Thursday through Saturday, and at 10pm on Sunday. In the Presqu'île there is a perimeter where you will go through security.

Here is the official map of 2022's light festival.

Is the Festival of Lights in Lyon free?

Yes, spend your money at great restaurants instead.

How long does it take to walk through the Festival of Lights?

How long do you want to be outside?

Is it the same on all four evenings?


What are the best nights to go?

Thursday and Sunday are the least crowded.

Are there Covid Restrictions?


Top Tips for the Fête des Lumières

Go before and after dinner.

Make restaurant reservations for the whole time you're in Lyon yesterday. Good luck.

Wear warm, dry clothes.

Lyon Fête des Lumières projections on the Quai du Saone. Light projected onto old buildings including two churches.
Lyon's Fête des Lumières is awesome!

Highly Limited Gastronomic Wine Tour of the Fête des Lumières on Sunday the 11th

I will take 3 people around on Sunday evening and show you how the Fête des Lumières is done. There will be plenty of wine, and we'll eat at one of my favorite restaurants.

We will start with my signature Wines of Lyon tasting at 3pm and then stumble out to continue.

My one night only fantastic and delicious tour of the Fête des Lumières is for people who love to eat and drink. We will definitely drink too much but we will also walk around in the cold a lot. You must be prepared and equipped to walk around outside in the cold for 2 hours.

The experience begins at my place for my signature Wines of Lyon tasting at 3pm, and plenty of cheese to protect us from the elements, then we'll go out and enjoy the festival around 6pm.

If you're interested, watch this video to make sure you want to hang out with me, and then please use the chat box or email me information about yourself(ves) and tell me why you're awesome. It will be expensive 🍾🤷‍♀️🥂🥳

Sunday the 11th only!

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About the Author

I'm a wine expert living in Lyon, France where I host wine tastings out of my 1800s silk loft apartment.

I also do private tours of the Beaujolais region from Lyon, and love to host and can organize multi-day wine trips as well. 

I'm from San Francisco, but have lived in Europe for half my life. I have my WSET Level 4 Diploma, a prestigious wine qualification.

Learn more about my tastings here!

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