Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Les Lumières ★

Even here in France, the month of December is very busy, as it is the month of Christmas and later, New Year's eve!  Last saturday evening was the Illumination de Louhans which is a community event held along La Grande Rue.  Remember way back when I explained on this blog that it's the ancient cobblestone street of Louhans with many boutiques and arches?

There were many stalls of the village's local clubs (including Rotary) that sold snacks, drinks and dinners, and live music playing.  Many people of Louhans came to the festival to eat and chat with friends and family - it was a very lively atmosphere!  It was especially beautiful in La Grande Rue because there were Christmas light decorations that hung across the street, building to building.  (As it is Europe after all, the streets are narrow!)

For the evening, I helped my Rotary Club of Louhans Bresse-Bourguignonne to sell choucroute (in English, also known as Sauerkraut) which originates from Alsacian cuisine.  (Alsace is a north-eastern region of France, along the borders of Germany.  It was a territory that was possessed by either France or Germany (it switched a lot) until WWII when France won control over it.)  The Rotary Club and I managed to sell to almost 200 plates of choucroute, and the profit went towards the club's finance for future activities.

Me standing in La Grande Rue

The President of the Rotary Club of Louhans Bresse-Bourguignonne, selling yummy choucroutes
He is also known to be a very great chef at a local French-Italian restaurant!

On Sunday, I went to Lyon again with my host sister, a very generous Rotarian and his wife to see one of France's famous events of the year: Le Fête des Lumières

It's a festival that began back in 1852 to thank the Virgin Mary, who the lyonnais (people of Lyon) devoted to during the Middle-Ages.  The history of this unique celebration is fascinating:  It started on the 8th of September, 1852, when the city was going to place the statue of the Virgin Mary on the chapel of Fourvière.  However, the ceremony was postponed to the 8th of December, 1852, because the river that flows in Lyon (the Saône) overflowed and the worksite of the statue was therefore flooded.  Even when December 8th came around, it was rainy and the church authorities decided to cancel it again.  However at night, the rain stopped and thousands of the lyonnais were so thrilled that they lit lumignons (little candles) on their windowsills and balconies.  Thus, an annual celebration was born on the 8th of December. 

Now, famous buildings are also being illuminated, and the celebration attracts millions of visiters each year! 

My second host sister and I, and La Basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière behind us

Lots of locals and tourists in Vieux Lyon
La Place Bellecour: The Ferris Wheel and Statue of  Louis XIV
Known to be France's 3rd largest pedestrain square
Illuminated buildings at La place des Terreaux... breathtaking especially with animations and sound effects!
Cute Boules de Lumière that changed colours along with music playing!

The weekend was just absolutely fantastic, and I'll never forget it!
Le week-end était absolument fantastique, et je ne l'oublierai jamais!



  1. looks like you are having a blast..miss you and hope to see u soon

    1. Thanks for reading my blog!! It's amazing here, but I miss you, Canada, and the snow!! Take care, and I look forward to see you again. ^^

  2. Super Sari !!! Bonnes vacances

    1. Merci Nicolas! J'espère que tu passe de bonnes vacances aussi!