Christmas in Lyon

At Lyon, a city renowned for its traditions, you’ll find not one but two Christmas markets! The first is the Croix Rousse market, Lyon’s only covered market where a living Christmas farm will delight parents and children. And then there’s the market at Place Carnot whose highly original Christmas huts and lighting create a fairy-tale setting.

The Festival of Lights – Fête des lumières in Lyon, France expresses gratitude toward Mary, mother of Jesus on December 8 of each year. The traditional lighting up of the city dates back to 8th December 1852 . This uniquely Lyonnaise tradition dictates that every house place candles along the outsides of all the windows to produce a spectacular effect throughout the streets. With over 4 million tourists coming to Lyon for this event, the festival includes other activities based on light and usually lasts 4 days, with the peak of activity occurring on the 8th. The two main focal points of activity are typically the Basilica of Fourvière which is lit up in different colours, and the Place des Terreaux, which hosts a different light show each year

Lyon’s Christmas market, at the Place Carnot, boasts over 140 chalets selling decorations, gifts, handicrafts of the region and splendid assortments of the food and drink of the region. Wander amidst the twinkling lights and smell the Christmassy scents of cinnamon and spices. Warm yourself with a vin chaud or a hot chocolate. There are also sleigh rides (pulled by donkeys) for the children, a puppet theatre and Santa’s workshop. At the beginning of December there is the special exhibition of Nativity scenes from all over the world. The market runs from the end of November to around the 24th December.

Lyon’s Christmas Market is one of the largest in France and here you are bound to find whatever you are looking for, or even stumble across something that will make that extra special gift. Look out for local products such as preserves, chestnuts and marons glacé, honey and gingerbread, foie gras, wines and liqueurs. Original gifts – retro jewelry, antique watches and fashion accessories, Wooden toys and puzzles, handmade soft toys and teddy bears. Also in the market at Lyons you will find authentic produce from other lands, Russia, Poland, Italy and Canada, to name some, all these exhibitors take great care and pride in the decoration of their chalets which makes this market a true “Christmas Wonderland”.

Selection of goods from around the World.

  • Poland: Wood carvings handmade: cassettes, boxes, chess, animals, jewellry …
  • Russia: Russian dolls, toy soldiers collection, lacquered boxes, decorated eggs, fur hats fur masks, dice collection, shawls, tops … Traditional Crafts wood, glass and ceramics: animals, boxes, dolls, jewellry , decorations, games …
  • Canada: Range of maple products, Canadian whiskey, beer, tea and herbal tea, bison (sausage casserole and stew), pancakes … Dream Catchers, shields peace, Inuit art, totem, peace pipe, Police shows on base, plush moose, tin amethyst, snowshoes, collectible dolls …
  • Lithuania: handmade ceramic objects (burning incense, candle holders, banks, bells, cups, houses, figures), linen napkins, incense cones …
Getting there :
tram lines T1 and T2
Metro Line A – stop Place Ampere Perrache or
Bus No. 8, 31, 32, 46, 49, 55, 63, 73, 96, 101, 103, 105, 125, 184, 185

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