French festival

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French festival

  1. 1. FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS (LYON) Fête des lumières is celebrated to expresses gratitude toward Mary, mother of Jesus on December 8 of each year. It dictates that every house place candles along the outsides of all the windows to produce a spectacular effect throughout the streets. The festival includes 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.
  2. 2. HISTORY The origins of the festival date to 1643 when Lyon was struck by plague. The municipal councillors (échevins) promised to pay tribute to Mary if the town was spared. Ever since, a solemn procession makes its way to the Basilica of Fourvière on this day to light candles and give offerings in the name of Mary. The event thus commemorates the day Lyon was consecrated to the Virgin Mary. In 1852, it became a popular festival when a statue of the Virgin Mary was erected next to the Basilica, overlooking the city.
  3. 3. Gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon
  4. 4. Thus, tradition now dictates that every family in Lyon keep, along with its Christmas decorations, a collection of stained or clear glass in which candles are burnt on windowsills on 8 December. The city's council puts on professionally-run performances. The people of Lyon's participation remains strong as evidenced by numerous façades lit up in the traditional way and by the throngs of people wandering the streets on 8 December.
  5. 5. The fêtes de Bayonne is a feria consisting in a serie of festivals in the Northern Basque Country in the town of Bayonne, France. The festivals last 5 days and always starts the Wednesday before the first Sunday of August. They are the largest festivals in France. The festivals include musical and street performances, traditional dances, parades, and fireworks. It begin on Wednesday evening when the keys to the town are thrown from the Town Hall balcony to the crowd massed below. The town belongs to the 'festayres', dressed in in red and white, for five days and nights of partying.
  6. 6. Everybody in red and white ! Saint Esprit bridge during the fêtes de Bayonne
  7. 7. SOME OF THE EVENTS DURING THE FETES... Wednesday 9h30 the Foulée du Festayre, a foot race from the Côte des Basques in Biarritz 10h-11h30 : The Omelette aux Piments World Championships at he market. Thursday Is the children's day Choco Yamboun (chocolate), Encierro Txiki (a bull run for the kids with papiermache toros on wheels), concerts, pelote... Friday Games of pelote basque, course de vaches, concerts etc.
  8. 8. Saturday The tamborrada or parade of massed drummers is noisy and impressive, followed by the parachute descents into town, the traditional course de vaches in the afternoon, the evening carnival parade and concerts around town in the night. Sunday Is Pamplona Day (Bayonne's twin town) The marching bands Mess at 11h at the Church of Saint Andrew, corrida in the afternoon, fireworks at night.
  9. 9. Easter is celebrated in France much as it is in America, with various religious ceremonies commemorating the rebirth of Jesus, and cultural customs having to do with rabbits, chocolates and eggs. On the Thursday before Good Friday, all church bells in France are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus' death. In fun, children are told that the bell's chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope. Easter morning, the bells ring out once again in celebration of the Resurrection, declaring that Jesus is alive again. In some villages, people kiss and embraceone another when they hear the bells ring.
  10. 10. Easter morning is a happy time for children who wake to look for colorfully decorated Easter eggs hidden in their gardens, homes and playgrounds. Parents tell their children the eggs were brought from Rome(where the chimes had gone), and that when the chimes returned they brought the eggs with them. The French allot an extra vacation day for the Easter holiday. The French take great pride and joy in their food, and no village is without at least one or more confiseries (candy shops). Easter is the perfect time of year for master chocolatiers to display and celebrate their delectable wares.

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