With its "Fête de Lumières" festival, the French city is internationally regarded as a trendsetter in light art. Four million spectators a year don't want to miss this four-day spectacle in December 6 to 9.
Legend has it that in 1852 the end of a serious plague epidemic in Lyon was celebrated with a feast in honour of the Virgin Mary. Storms and floods prevented the celebrations planned for 8 September. These were made up on 8 December — illuminated by candlelight in all windows of the city.
Since then every year is celebrated with lanterns and candles. As early as 1989, Lyon became the first European city to offer a big stage with a festival of light art. From the 6th to the 9th of December, the city will again offer numerous events. International artists show their installations on the theme of light, and the most important buildings in Lyon are illuminated in bright colours. The spectacular large-scale projections with coloured light and images have also influenced other cities and events, such as the Luminale in Frankfurt.
Every December at the beginning of the Christmas season — and this since the 19th century — the French metropolis on the Rhône begins to glow. Whereas in the past it was simple candlelight, today lighting designers deliver sophisticated illusions and enchant buildings with changing projections.
In January 2019, from the 18th to the 21st, at the "Lumiere London" festival in Great Britain, the sights and streets of the city on the Thames will be surprisingly colourful and fantastic figures of light will buzz through the night.
The first full moon of the year is traditionally celebrated in Korea as a second New Year's Eve after the lunar calendar. In 2019, "Jeongwol Daeboreum" will take place on February 4. With ritual pyramid fires and modern LED light games, disaster is to be averted and luck is to be brought.
The Canadian city presents itself every year in February/March with the spectacle "Montréal en Lumière". Next time it will take place in February/March 2019. But Montreal's Place des Arts subway station is also a radiant venue on normal days. A 13-metre-long glass picture with over 100 fluorescent tubes tells the story of music.
Each year beginning in March Baltimore in the US state of Maryland will become Light City. The inner harbor will serve as a stage for all sorts of innovative multi-disciplinary light art shows.
In Australia, the Vivid Sydney festival - mostly in June - attracts more spectators every year. The stunning light installations enchanting more than 2 million visitors.
In summertime the Old City will be the backdrop for Jerusalem's light festival. 3D projections will transform the view of a city that is a central to the beliefs of Jews, Christians and Muslims.
At the annual Circle of Light festival in late summer, international artists drench the Russian capital and its imposing buildings in shimmering colors.
In October the German capital hosts two festivals of illuminations. At nightfall, Berlin leuchtet and the Festival of Lights provide transform the cityscape.
Every two years in the German banking metropolis on the Main, light sculptures add colourful accents to the skyline and enchant the old town. The spectacle "Luminale" will take place again in 2020.
In Belgium, the city of Ghent, with its light festival, now attracts more than half a million visitors. It takes place every three years. In 2018, 40 large installations by light art designers were on view. Next time it will take place in 2021.
The inhabitants of Lyon, however, still place candles on their windows and balconies in memory of the original tradition of 8 December.