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Lyon cancels Festival of Lights

The city of Lyon has canceled its annual lights festival which had been due to take place in December. Instead, citizens will be asked to light candles to remember the victims of the Paris attacks.

On Thursday Gérard Collomb, the mayor of Lyon, announced on Twitter that the city would be turning the Festival of Lights into a "homage to the victims of the attacks." Lyon has a population of half a million, making it France’s third largest city, after Paris and Marseille.

The Festival of Lights began in 1852 to mark the inauguration of the statue of the Virgin Mary. Locals celebrate the event by decorating their windows with colorful displays and lighting candles. Nowadays, the celebration features impressive light displays on public monuments, as well as performances by international artists and a musical water ballet.

The festival usually runs for four days and attracts some four million visitors. This year, locals will mark the 8thof December by placing candles in the windows of their homes in memory of those who died in the Paris attacks.

ak/kf (KNA, dpa)