Lyon in France celebrates each year on the 8th December
In 1643, South of France was fighting a most terrible enemy: the plague. The city of Lyon (the third biggest city in France), decided to ask for help to Mary, Jesus’ mother, to escape the fate of that invisible killer decimating the population. The town notables promised to honour Mary each year if she helped them heal the city from the plague. The town soon became a healthy place, so the population since then is celebrating Mary on the 8th of December. People(believers or not) all around the town are lighting small candles in coloured glasses and put them on their windows.
A changing tradition
Apparently, the culture tends to fade little by little in Lyon. The city is always organizing a great sound and light show, but it as more and more success among the tourists. At the same time, little by little, people from Lyon following the tradition are leaving the city. So it is more a street show now than a personal homy celebration. However, my father and my husband are from Lyon. It is for me an essential cultural appointment with our origins. We have always celebrated the Lyon Festival of Lights on the 8th of December, from anywhere in the world. The both of us celebrated it in Lyon first, then a little further in Paris, becoming a family of three then four. We celebrated it in Canada with no exception, from Montreal and Toronto. Tonight will be our first English Lyon Festival of Lights.
All around the world
This is how I love the internet. Thanks to Facebook and the growing team of “8 December autour du monde” (8th December around the world) people from Lyon can celebrate everywhere that festival and share with others. It has now become a way of commemorating their origins for people from Lyon all around the world. That is the beautiful thing in the Festival of Light: it’s a way of thinking about others living close and far. It’s a way to meet people coming from the same region on that night and celebrate together. Last year people sent more than 1200 photos coming from 69 different countries on the Facebook page. This is how we celebrate the Lyon Festival of Light today: worldwide!
Happy Festival of Lights to you all!
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