Festival of lights
Tradition of the city of Lyon since the 19th century closely tied to the history of religion in Lyon
The origins of the festival The progress of the festival
A worship of the Virgin Mary since 1643 From 1550 till 1643 several thousand inhabitants of Lyon died from the plague Provost Alexandre Mascary, surrounded with the “Échevins” (deputymayors of time), decided to leave it to the Virgin Mary
« Our deputy mayors made a commitment to build two statues of the Virgin, the first one on the “place du change”, the other one on the “Pont dela Saône” ».
The mass of the wish of the aldermen
« Finally they made wish for them and for their successors, to go every festival of the nativity which is the eighth day of September, withoutdress but with their usual clothes, in the chapel of Fourvière to hear the mass, pray and make the devotion to the Virgin and to offer her in sign of tribute and gratitude, seven pounds of white waxcandles and torches and a golden ecu in order to make her achieve the particular protection the city of Lyon... "
The statue from Mimerel of the bridge, now in the chapel of the Hôtel-Dieu
In1830, the bell tower of the chapel threatening to breake down is demolished In 1850, the religious authorities launched a competition for the sculpture of a gilded statue to be put as a religious signalat the top of the Fourvière hill
The date of September 8th, 1852 is chosen for its inauguration, day of the nativity of the VIrgin and the anniversary of the wish of the Échevins. But in August, theSaône is in flood and the workshop of the sculptor is flooded.
The archbishopric chose to postpone the inauguration until the date of December 8th : festival of the Immaculate Conception
Thestatue is installed and will be illuminated by Bengal lights
But the bad weather threatened again and church authorities immediately decided to cancel Then, finally, the sky get free and the...
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