To express gratefulness to Mother Mary, Lyon residents in France celebrate the Festival of Lights or Fête des Lumières on 8 December every year to say 'Merci Marie'.
The festival, which starts from 5 December and lasts for four days, includes many activities based on lights.There will be more than 70 installations by famous artists. Most importantly, the Basilica of Fourvière and the Place des Terreaux will be lit up with many colours.
Following tradition, candles will be placed outside the windows of all the houses in Lyon, which is an attraction to millions of tourists during the festival season prior to Christmas.
The festival is said to have begun in 1643, after the region was affected by plague. The authorities decided to pay tribute to Mother Mary, if the town was saved from the deadly disease. However, the festive aspect was added only by 1990.
This year, designers like Severine Fontaine, Jerome Donna, Simon Milleret-Godet, Beam'Art, Christophe Martine, Yves Moreaux, Gilbert Coudene, Etienne Guiol, Moetu Batlle and David Passegand, among others are participating in the grand festival.