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Lyss illuminations The town that loves Christmas lights

Christmas tree decorations and lights illuminate dark winter nights with atmospheric displays. Inhabitants of the town of Lyss, in canton Bern, bathe their houses in a sea of lights. It is a tradition that has become a bit of a crowd-puller.

Visitors are attracted to the light show, not just from the locality, but from the whole of Switzerland – and even Chinese tourists have been known to show up.

What started a few years ago as a passionate hobby for a few households, has grown into a glittering spectacle of light: trees, stars, sleighs, reindeer and Santa Claus’ are attached to the walls of houses in an array of different colours.

Preparations for the spectacle begin already in the summer. But the real work takes place in the winter when the elaborate decorations and cables stretching a kilometre are brought up from basements.

For some, the Lyss Christmas light show might be bordering on kitsch. But for others, it is a delight to be savoured.

(Images: Christoph Balsiger, Text: Gaby Ochsenbein,

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