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Lyon – Christmas Markets in France

Joyeux Noël et une Bonne Année

Date: From  23rd November to 24th December 2019.

Open : On Fri and Sat. til 9 pm. Closed at 7 pm during the Festival of Light. Closed on Christmas Day.

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 Liqueuers. 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


Christmas is also a time when we tend to think more about food and drink as we like to treat our family and friends when they come to visit, but have you ever thought about what foods are traditional in other countries of the world? Why not take a look at the page below and see what other nationalities are cooking up this Christmas. Christmas is also a time for trying out traditional and new ways of cooking meals, cakes, snacks…….. the list goes on, here we have a selection of Christmas recipes from around the world for you to take a look at, and maybe try out … and if you have a special recipe that you would like to share with the world, then you can send it in to us for others to try out to World-wide Christmas Recipes. Who are the most important people at Christmas? yes, of course, its the CHILDREN and we have not left them out, there is a page packed full of Christmas activities to keep them busy ( and Mums everywhere heave a sigh of relief ! ) … take a look at this page and download the information Children’s Christmas page Read about the Christmas Customs and Traditions of the nations of the world and how they differ, or are maybe the same as, ours. … What is the feast of the “Epiphany” or that of “St Lucia“ which countries are these important too? See here the origins of the most beautiful of all the Christmas Carols “Silent Night“, where it came from, who wrote it and listen to the song itself ( look to see which very famous person is singing it!) Have a look at the main Christmas page and see who Father Christmas is, where did he come from, where is he now, and who is St Nicolaus? Send him a letter from the children, browse through some Christmas Market Tours or listen to a new Christmas song on the page there is so much to see and read, so why not do it !! For those of you who want to travel a little further than the local shops this year have a look at Father Christmas in Lapland or maybe (the ultimate treat for Mums – Dads take note ! ) Shopping in New York we have it all right here for you. As Christmas approaches we also think of snow and with that thought comes skiing, skating, sledging and all manner of “Fun in the Snow” things to do which will last for weeks after Christmas time has been and gone. Around Europe there are many places to visit where you can enjoy the winter activities, whether it is before, during or after Christmas. Below you will find a sample of activities and places to look at which you may find will interest or even surprise you. Please take time to have a look.

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Christmas Recipes

Food plays a very important part in the season of Goodwill and Festive Cheer. Here we have a selection of recipes from around the globe which we hope will help you to prepare for Christmas.

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Discover all you need to know about the history of Silent Night, the Lyrics and listen to Silent Night

Discovwer all about St Nicholas. Find out who he was, how he become a saint and why he is associated with Christmas. Discover St Nicholas here

Find Puzzles, word searches, letters to print of for Santa plus much more here, in the Kids Corner

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