• Pauline Rotsaert

An air of winter celebrations at la Fête des lumières

On December 8th in Lyon, we celebrate la fête des Lumières, also called the festival of lights. An early start to the winter celebrations, bringing back many great childhood memories to me!


When I was little, living in the city, that day was as magical as Christmas day. Traditionally, every house in my neighbourhood would light up candles at their windows, turning the streets into mystical and warm alleys. On the 8th by the end of the afternoon, everyone would gather on the streets. For the occasion, improvised stalls were selling hot chocolate, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

It was one of those “outside of time” moments, where the simplest things are just incredibly magical.

The origins of the fête des Lumières goes back to the 17th century when Lyon was struck by plague (sounds oddly familiar today...). Ever since a procession is organised on that day. People meet in the city and make their way up to the Basilica of Fourvière, on the hill of the same name, to light candles and give offerings to thank the Virgin Mary for her protection.

For about 15 years, the tradition evolved and the fête des lumières has become a major touristic event for the city, attracting thousands of visitors each year. During 4 days, artists from all over the world, scenography, music and many more, come to light up the building of Lyon with their own interpretation. Even though it is a great way to promote our city, the inhabitants of Lyon are quite divided on this turn of events. Many streets are blocked, crowded, it is hard to move and above all, the feeling of having lost the true meaning of this magical moment.


This year, France is still currently under a strict lockdown and due to those very exceptional circumstances, the festival of lights was cancelled. Maybe it’s somehow the occasion to regain a little bit of yesteryears’ original atmosphere. A much-needed return to the roots, when now more than ever little moments like this find all their senses.

That’s all I hope for all of us, to return to simpler values and find pleasure in little things. Like a good cup of a warm drink perhaps, accompanied by a tasty pastry ;)


If this reading whets your appetite, come support us at your nearest farmers or Christmas markets! Here’s the list of the ones we'll be attending in December:


Sunday 13th

Como House - 10am to 3pm

Airey Inlet FM - 8.30 to 1pm


Friday 18th

Anglesea Twilight Market - 4.30 - 8pm


Saturday 19th

Gaswork FM - 8.30 - 1pm


Sunday 20th

South Geelong FM - 8.30 - 1pm

Rippon Lea - 10am - 3pm


Wednesday 23d

Alphington FM - 2pm - 6pm


Last but not least! For Christmas this year, Gavé has created three different boxes to help you bring some French touch to your celebration!

  • Meringues box - 5 for 10$

  • Dunes box - 8 for 20$

  • Canelés box - 8 for 30$

How to get your Christmas box ?

1 - Order now on our website (or anytime before Dec 19th)

2 - Collect your box in Jan Juc!

3 - Pick up dates are Saturday 19th or Wednesday 23d in the morning!


Bisous & Joyeuses fêtes to you all !


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