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The city is also known for its famous light festival 'Fête des Lumières' which occurs every 8th December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. Legend says that the Virgin Mary saved the city from the plague and, to thank her, a statue was built. On the day it was erected, the whole city was lit by candles that its citizens had put at their windows. The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais, has increased Lyon's profile internationally through participation inEuropean football championships.

Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking as well as for chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, and in recent years has fostered a growing local start-up sector. Lyon also hosts the international headquarters of InterpolEuronews and International Agency for Research on Cancer. By some measures, Lyon is ranked 2nd in France as an economic centre and convention centre. Lyon was ranked 8th globally and 2nd in France for innovation in 2011. It ranked 2nd in France and 38th globally in Mercer's 2010 liveability rankings.

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