A moonlit walk with…err…lights…

Each year, La Clusaz hosts a moonlit walk through town (la balade au clair du lune in French) when the moon is full and bright in the sky. All the street lights are turned off, but the town is still lit by more than the moon. Candles flicker on the ground, in trees, and on window sills along the main streets which are blocked to cars and full of pedestrians and entertainers.

La Clusaz moonlit entertainment

Illuminated stilt angels
Illuminated inflatable angel

This year’s theme was light. I guess it would be a bit boring without any additional lighting to view the entertainment by, so the entertainment itself was illuminated. Pictured above is one of the acts that got friendly with the tourists. I love the smile on the drummer’s face as he tries to get a member of the public dancing. Their light came from the giant illuminated cones around them. This was the extremely upbeat band compared with the one I’d seen marching down the street ten minutes earlier: they sounded like a funeral procession from New Orleans.

Meanwhile, pictured on the right are two illuminated angel people on stilts, along with a juggler and a non-stilted illuminated angel person to keep them company. They were really magical to watch as they floated and wobbled carefully along the roads, sometimes backwards. The juggler had green illuminated pins which was probably a good thing, or nobody would have noticed him juggling. All the kids were fixated on the white lights.

The kids were also fixated on the big screen that took temporary silhouette photos of anyone standing in front of it. My friends and I tried to get in there to do YMCA with our arms, but the kids kept us back. When I finally muscled my way to the screen, strangers joined me before my friends could (reluctantly) make it, so I did a C by myself while the kids around me smiled as part of their poses, which was as pointless as my C without the Y, M and A since silhouettes don’t show smiles.

The giant inflatable angel, pictured, floated silently over people’s heads through town. It risked being popped as the two blokes driving it tried to get it under an arch of decorative street lights (unlit) and got it wedged between the arch and a neighbouring street light (turned off as well — no wonder they ran into it). Moments earlier, it had been floating up and down ‘watching’ a two-piece band playing something folky. By the time it made it under the street lights, everybody watching the band had turned their attention to the floating angel, breaking out in applause, mid-song, when the angel made it under the lights without popping. The band seemed less than impressed and I reckon they would have popped the inflatable angel with one of their instruments had it been close enough to try.


I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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One comment on “A moonlit walk with…err…lights…
  1. Gavin says:

    Looks beautifully eerie; must have been quite an atmosphere. I like the figures (angels) on stilts.

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by wendyhollands.com, my other site.

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