Following the cancellation of the Christmas market at the beginning of this month, it is easy to feel downhearted. The market usually attracts around two million visitors and is often at the top of the best festive markets worldwide, so its cancellation will undoubtedly have a major economic impact as well as being a disappointment for many. The City of Brussels also confirmed that the edition of the Winter Wonders will not take place in its usual form. However, there are still some festive treats to look forward to.
1. Brussels by Lights
Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, confirmed, “the eighth edition of Brussels By Lights will proceed as scheduled”‘, stating that, “Getting together is very limited these days and we need more than ever to feel supported and to have our spirits lifted”.
For this year’s Brussels by Lights, the city is going all out with 142 streets and boulevards illuminated (eleven more than last year), and complex lighting installations that people can enter. The Grand-Place will also house the traditional Christmas tree and nativity scene, as well as a brand new sound and light show which will take place every evening. The city is hoping that once the current six-week lockdown is over, shops will be able to open for the holidays and Brussels By Lights will be a well-deserved festive background for all shoppers and passers-by.
Alderwoman for culture, tourism and major events Delphine Houba said, “Of course the most important thing is for us all to remain in good health”, but added, “However, at the same time I feel that it is essential that we be able to enjoy the magic of the holiday season and I wanted, with these decorations, to thank all the inhabitants of Brussels for their perseverance and efforts”.
2. The Christmas tree
This Thursday saw the installation of the Christmas tree in the Grand Place. The tree was generously offered to the City of Brussels by Hôtel de la Chaumière du Lac in Robertville, where it was planted to celebrate the establishment’s first Christmas. The owners are delighted to see their tree, which carries so much meaning to them, shine on the most beautiful square in the world.
The theme for the Christmas tree decorations this year will, rather aptly, be ‘renewal’, and this Sunday from 10am, over the course of eight hours eight specialists helped by three automated lorry-lifts, will dress the 18m high Nordmann tree with 195 flowers in autumn colours, 50 golden and glittering organic plant fibre spheres, and 1km of LED garlands.
The sustainable succession of the 35-40 year-old tree will be ensured by planting ten new pines in its place, and how the tree will be recycled post-Christmas is being looked into. The Christmas tree will stand in the Grand-Place for all to appreciate until 6 January 2021.