This year, you can take part in turning on the Christmas lights on Paris Champs Elysees from your sofa

©Agence France-Presse

The city of Paris has had a bright idea for the festive lighting on its legendary street, the Champs Elysees. While the French capital is, like the rest of the country, currently in lockdown due to the covid-19 pandemic, it has decided that it won't just be a celebrity who launches its end-of-year festival of holiday lights; internet users worldwide will also be able to take part in the celebrations from home.

One of the world's most famous shopping avenues is about to don its sparkling attire to celebrate the end of year. It is a Parisian tradition: every year, the City of Lights organizes a ceremony to launch its Champs-Elysées 'illuminations.' Last year 70,000 people gathered along the iconic avenue for the event but for the 2020 edition, and the unprecedented global health crisis, a digital process will prevail alongside a small, simultaneous ceremony with French singer Louane. 

The idea is that anyone around the world has the possibility to take part in this event from home. It is "a way to show the impact of Champs-Élysées Christmas Lights throughout the world," said the Champs-Elysées committee. To take part, you will need to register for free before November 20 on You'll have to wait until November 22 to connect to your personal account to access a countdown so that you click the digital buzzer at the right time. 

The ceremony will kick off at 7pm Paris time on Sunday, November 22, and will be livestreamed. Each digital participant will be able to book their own light, corresponding to an address on the Champs-Elysées. Moreover, participants will be able to add a short (140 characters) personal message to their light; the message will also be broadcast on the event's platform.

For the moment, the number of reserved lights has not been published but the "total number of participants will also be displayed in a spirit of federation and unity," added the Champs-Elysées committee. The city of Paris will also broadcast the event on a dedicated platform from November 23 to January 6, 2021.