Lyon Events and Festivals

(Lyon, Rhône Alpes, France)




Photo of the Place Bellecour, illuminated at nightLyon is a lively city and, as you'd expect, hosts a number of festivals, cultural and sporting events, and fairs throughout the year.

Look out for local magazines and guides, which regularly publish an up-to-date listing of forthcoming events in Lyon. The city's tourist office is also a good source of information on things to do.

Many of the larger international shows and trade fairs take place in Lyon's exhibition centre, Eurexpo.


National Public Holidays


  • 1st January - New Year's Day (Jour de l'an)
  • Easter Holiday - Easter Monday (late March or early April)
  • 1st May - Labour Day (Fête du premier mai)
  • 8th May - Victory in Europe Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)
  • May (40th day after Easter) - Ascension Thursday
  • 14th July - Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
  • 15th August - Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Assomption)
  • 1st November - All Saints Day (La Toussaint)
  • 11th November - Remembrance Day, Armistice Day (Jour d'armistice)
  • 25th December - Christmas Day (Noel)
  • 26th December - Second Day of Christmas (In Alsace Lorraine only)

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015



January


  • World Pastry Cup - over 7,000 competitors arrive in Lyon to take part in the city's biggest pastry-making competition. Since 1989, this event has become a favourite on Lyon's list of gastronomic events
  • Salon international de la Restauration, de l'Hôtellerie et de l'Alimentation - held in odd-numbered years at Lyon's Eurexpo, this international trade fair caters for food and hotel professionals. However, it is equally of interest to amateur gourmets keen to pick up some tips from France's top chefs

February


  • Eurotips - mid-February, held every two years at Lyon's Eurexpo. This major furniture exhibition attracts both the trade and public in search of furniture for the home and office

March


  • Salon Residence Bois - mid-March, held at Eurexpo, this recently established annual fair gives you all the information you need to know about the design and construction of timber buildings
  • Lyon International Fair - mid- to late-March. A showcase for everything from handicrafts and carpets to giftware, artificial jewellery and leather items

April


  • Lyon-Charbonnières Car Rally - this historic car rally event takes off from Lyon on the last day of March and arrives in the town of Charbonnières on 1st April

May


  • Nuits Sonores - an opportunity to dance until dawn in this celebration of electronic dance music, held in locations throughout Lyon

June


  • Lyon Pride - annual gay and lesbian Pride march, departing from place Jules Ferry, with party to follow
  • Biennial Theatre Festival for Young Audiences - this major event on the European theatre calendar was created in 1977. It encourages the search for new talent and innovation in theatre and is open not just to young people but to all generations of theatre-goers

July


  • Art on the Square - held on the Place Bellecour, this biennial contemporary arts festival is reputed to be one of the best in France. The next festival to be staged will be in 2007
  • Bastille Day - held on 14th July, Lyon's celebrations include street parties and fireworks on Fourvière hill

August


  • Nuits de Fourvière Festival - dance, music and theatre in the dramatic setting of Lyon's Roman amphitheatres on Fourvière hill

September


  • Tupiniers Pottery Festival - held on place St. Jean, in the shadow of the cathedral, this modern revival of an ancient ceramics fair attracts some 50,000 visitors
  • Tendances Maison Fair - held at Eurexpo, this fair attracts large crowds to its stands dedicated to the home and garden
  • International New Generation Film Festival - end-September, held at L'Embarcadère. This festival is uniquely dedicated to digital film media

October


  • Red Carpet Antiques Festival - first Thursday of October, the traffic is brought to a halt as a huge red carpet is rolled out on Rue Auguste Compte, at the heart of Lyon's antique district. Shops compete for the most spectacular window displays and visitors can listen to live music and browse in comfort
  • Automobile Salon - early to mid-October, Lyon's biennial motor fair is held at Eurexpo and showcases all the latest models and accessories in the car world
  • La Semaine du Goût - a variety of events related to gastronomy and regional food as part of France's annual Tasting Week
  • Grand Prix de Tennis de Lyon - top tennis tournament held indoors at Lyon's Palais de Sport

November


  • Guignol and Father Christmas - held from November through to January, this annual event sees Father Christmas paying a visit to Guignol, Lyon's version of Punch and Judy, at Lyon's puppet theatre
  • Beaujolais Nouveau - last Thursday in November, the wine flows as most restaurants and bars in Lyon celebrate the arrival of this popular wine of the region

December


  • Festival of Lights - early December, lights in shop and house windows contribute to light up the city of Lyon on one night each December. An illuminated procession is also held, along with concerts and other events
  • Festival de Musique Ancienne de Lyon - December, held in place Carnot, a traditional Christmas market with regional food, arts and craft stalls
  • Lyon's Christmas Market -late December, held in the Vieux Lyon district, a programme of concerts featuring Renaissance, Baroque and classical music







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