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Annual Festival of Lights electrifies French city of Lyon

Lyon is celebrating its annual Fête des Lumières (Festival of Lights), a four-day period when public buildings, town squares and city parks all become canvases for works of art that light the night sky.


From December 5-8, visitors and residents of Lyon will have a chance to see the 75 separate installations created for this year's Fête des Lumières.

Around the city, people were mesmerized by floating feathers, glowing globes and a giant dazzling disco ball, while illuminated couples twirled across the City Hall's facade.

Public buildings, town squares and city parks are all canvases for the high-tech light show that the festival has become.

In a nearby street, passersby watched a new galaxy form as elsewhere luminescent orange fish floated in the night sky.

"Artistically, it was fantastic," said one observer.

"All the colours and the work that's gone in behind the scenes – it’s really impressive."

In the Old Town, the cathedral got a psychedelic makeover. And along the river banks, residents saw their city transformed into a giant video game.

The festival is a fitting tribute to Lyon’s homegrown heroes, the film-making Lumière brothers, whose last name means “light”. Their 1894 short film, Sortie de l'usine Lumière de Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon), is considered the first motion picture ever made.

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