Photo: Muriel Chaulet, Courtesy of the Fete des Lumieres

Since 1999 Lyon, France, has celebrated light as an art form and cultural event. In early December for four days (Dec. 6-9) the city is transformed into an illuminated urban spectacle. With more than 20 principal lighting installations created by lighting designers, artists, and architects, along with public activities and symposiums discussing urban lighting initiatives, the Fête des Lumières attracts more than 4 million visitors. Highlights of the 2007 festival included a light projection of geometric shapes on the façade of the Theatre des Célestins (bottom); the statue of Louis XIV on horseback on the Place Bellecour transformed into a giant snow globe (center); and a giant illuminated and color-changing recreation of Sir Isaac Newton's pendulum on the Place de la République (top). For more information about the festival visit