Top 20 European Christmas Celebrations this year – Part 2
Festival of Lights, Lyon – The Festival of Lights (Fête des lumières) in Lyon is held every 8 December of each year in celebration of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Legend says that on 8 December 1852, residents of Lyon placed candles on their windows when the Virgin Mary’s golden statue was mounted on top of Fourviere hill. This marked the beginning of Lyon’s annual 4-day festival. Residents today still light their candles, but the major events in are the different light shows, art installations, and exhibits all round Lyon. The most popular attraction would be the Basilica of Notre-Dame Fourvière, when is lit up in different colours.
When: 6-7 December 6pm-12.30 am
8 December 6pm-1am
9 December 6pm-11pm
(2008) Basilica of Notre-Dame Fourvière
Turkey Parade, Licques – In town of Licques, North France, flocks of Turkey parade along the streets like beauty queens in a pageant. As turkeys walk, crowds and the Fellows of the Order of the Licques Turkey follow behind already picking which among the birds will be used for their Christmas feast. Making the event more special is the surrounding Christmas market. Stalls sell local produce, handicrafts, and food. Most of the stalls show about a hundred different ways to cook and serve turkey.
When: Christmas Market 8-10 December 2012
Turkey Parade 10 December 2012
(2011) Locals wear traditional costumes to make the event more festive
Christmas Markets – Germany boasts of wonderful Christmas Markets and fairs throughout their entire country every year. Most of these markets will stay away from selling commercial products and offer local, high quality, handmade crafts. Popular gift items in these markets are crib figurines, toys, woodcarvings, marionettes, candles and lambskin shoes. German Christmas Markets also have their visitors taste great German cuisine with thousands of food stalls selling grilled sausages, Bavarian brews, gingerbread biscuits known as Lebkuchen, marzipan figures and other treats. Although each market is different, one will find the comforting aroma of hot chestnuts roasting everywhere.
Visit www.germany-christmas-market.org.uk for the complete list of German Christmas Markets and fairs this year.
Weihnachtszauber, Triberg – At Weihnachtszauber (Christmas Magic) Christmas is truly a spectacle. Over 900,000 lights illuminate the famous frozen waterfalls of Triberg and the surrounding nature park. Some of its attractions include a Ferris wheel, carousel, magic shows, live music, Christmas Village, living nativity scene, fireworks display, culinary delights such as eggnogs from the Black forest, and a spectacular fire show directly above the waterfalls! To get an authentic feel of Triberg, even real sounds of alphorns or alpine horns are played!
Colourful lights begin the fire show at the Triberg waterfalls
Opens on 25 Dec.2012 until 30 Dec 2012
Open daily from 2 – 9 pm.
For more information, visit: www.triberger-weihnachtszauber.de or
Writing to Santa and tracking him down in Switzerland – The Swiss post service offers special delivery of Christmas letters to Santa Clause. To cater to all, requests and wishes can be written in any of the four national languages: German, French, Italian, Romansch, and even English! Although thousands of mails can seem exhausting, the Swiss post makes sure that all letters receive an answer. Both children and adults can take part in this daily activity starting from 1 December to 31 December 2012 by sending a letter through to the post office. Each mail of 100g costs just 85 centimes.
If writing letters are not enough, guests can track Santa’s location across Switzerland online. Thanks to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad), a joint US-Canadian security organization, guests can finally track how Santa goes around the globe spreading cheers this holiday season. For more information visit www.noradsanta.org
The Conelli Christmas Circus, Zurich – Zurich’s traditional Conelli Christmas Circus is bridging the gap from classic to contemporary circus arts. The different acts are a feast of colors and imaginative performances, likely to enchant even the most demanding public.
The famous Conelli Circus Tent
When: Now until 06 January 2013
For more information visit www.circus-conelli.ch or www.zuerich.com
Nativity scenes, Barcelona – Nativity scenes are huge in Barcelona and people spend a lot of money recreating this famous event . The intricate nativity scenes displayed around the city are not to be missed, the most popular being in Plaça Sant Jaume (St. James Square), commissioned by a different artist each year. It is life-sized and people queue at its unveiling just to take a picture of it!
(2008) One of the many life-size displays of the Nativity scene
Christmas Ice rink - Skating is one of the most enjoyable activities during Christmas that is why, for the second year in a row, Plaça Catalunya in Barcelona is playing host to Europe’s largest open-air ice rink. The space reaches 3,600 square meters and contains a offering drinks such as hot with or deep fried pastries. Ice-skating at Catalunya also offers a full program of events, including exhibitions and workshops to initiate or introduce ice sports. The idea behind these disciplines is to promote Barcelona’s candidacy as host for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Guests fill up the ice-skating rink easily; TV projectors are set up around the rink for entertainment