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14 December 2005
Fêtes des Lumières à Lyon

My sister-in-law Jan, who now lives in Lyon, France with my nerdy brother Bill and their little boy Laurence, sent some photos of their recent night on the town enjoying Lyon's festival of lights (Fêtes des Lumières). Jan says the pictures do not do the scene justice, that the lights were extremely vibrant, were often in motion and were quite stellar.

Fêtes des Lumières à Lyon 1 Fêtes des Lumières à Lyon 2

I found this site with some more dynamic examples of what Jan was talking about. I see what she means. Thanks for the pictures Jan!

I had a similarly wonderful, unplanned St. Nicholas Day experience in Amsterdam a few years back. As an American, I don't normally mark St. Nicholas Day on my mental calendar, so I didn't realize what I was stepping into when I arrived to an unusually snowy and seasonally light-hearted city that day. It's a very warming experience to see merry holiday celebrations in a slightly different culture. Firsthand. And I think it helps to be alone; there's no groupthink to prevent your complete adsorption onto the moment. I think a few in the "War on Christmas" sect should get out more and try a European Christian celebration on for size. They'd realize some of the broad range of traditions within the Christian world and perhaps focus less on feeling generally superior to non-Christians. But I digress....

For some cross-Atlantic balance, here's an over-the-top Christmas lights display, set to music. It's gotta be from somewhere here in the U S of A... [Video link]

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