Written by Kaleb Houle-Lawrence – high school Intern

History of Le Festival des Lumières     

2018 Exhibit

The Festival of Lights (Le Festival des Lumières) in Paris is coming back for its fourth year! The event, located in the 5th arrondissement (the French equivalent to a neighborhood), is a spectacular display of larger-than-life light displays. The first event was held in 2018 and has returned every year except 2020.

2019 Exhibit




Thematically, all of the festivals have focused on endangered species across the world. Previous themes have focused on endangered plants and animals in general, oceanic life, and evolution. This year’s theme, Mini-Mondes en voir d’Illumination (The World of Miniscule in Large), will focus on the tiny organisms that play crucial roles in global ecosystems.

2018 Exhibit

From mid-November into January, tourists and locals alike can walk through the 5th arrondissement. Dozens of light sculptures throughout the area illuminate the entire night sky throughout the festival. During the day, the Jardin des Plantes in Paris holds events to discuss the themes. From children’s workshops to discussions on protecting endangered species, these events help put the festival’s mission into practice.

2018 Exhibit

2022: Mini-Mondes en Voir d’Illumination

This year’s walk-through will bring viewers through several ecosystems, focusing on the minute species that are typically forgotten. The path begins in a meadow, with displays of butterflies, spiders, snails, and shrews. Then, the ecosystem shifts into a pondy region filled with dragonflies, mosquitoes, and frogs. Next, there is a larger-than-life forest crawling with beetles, millipedes, caterpillars, and lighting bugs, among other woodland creatures. To traverse into the next region, viewer’s must cross an 82-foot long illuminated piece of tree bark.



The next two sections focus on every-day mini species that we encounter. The first contains dozens of species found in our home, from jumping spiders to bedbugs and mold. Finally, the audience is introduced to the organisms found within our own bodies. Dozens of bugs, bacteria, and viruses illuminate the area and our knowledge of our personal body ecosystems.