La Fête des Lumières in Lyon is probably one of the most renowned holiday celebrations in France… and yet it has nothing to do with Christmas at all 😉 Details, right? The Fête des Lumières’ origins actually date back to 1852 and the inauguration of a new statue of the Virgin Mary at the top of the hill of Fourvière on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. It was postponed to December 12 due to bad weather and the whole town lit up for the occasion. Today, the tradition continues, albeit in a more modern, professional and well, extravagant, way today.
After teaming up with Shaw Main Streets to bring La Nuit Blanche to Washington, l’Alliance Française is now partnering with the Georgetown Business Improvement District (BID) to bring a little bit of la Fête des Lumières to the District. They’re also partnering with Art Soiree, the Embassy of Spain and EDF (Electricité de France) to sponsor the light installations that will be positioned in a few key locations throughout Georgetown. The week-long celebration (December 13 through December 20th, though the bulk of the public art light display will happen on the nights of 13th and 14th) will light up DC’s French-est neighbourhood for a limited exhibition inspired by Lyon’s famous fête. Fête des Lumières Georgetown will coincide with the second annual Georgetown Holiday Window Competition, where a variety of neighbourhood merchants create holiday-themed window displays using only four different materials… well, five this year. The fifth element this year will be, wait for it… light! It won’t be as extravagant as its inspiration, of course, but hey… Lyon’s been at it for over 100 years and DC’s just getting started 😉