Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

As I mentioned earlier, I recently spent one last evening in Brussels. They're hardcore about their decorations here. It's way more festive than cities back in the States. In addition to the requisite tree in the Grand Place, the city also set up a nativity scene replete with live sheep. It's weird to see such blatant endorsement of Christianity in public displays. That kind of thing would never happen in Chicago. I'm a bit ambivalent toward nativity scenes myself, but it was still kinda cool. They also had several streets blocked off for a Christmas market and all the other standard accoutrements of the holiday season: Salvation Army musicians with red buckets, wreaths on lamp posts, hot chocolate, etc.

The best part came after dark with a music and light show in the Grand Place. Several multi-colored spot lights were choreographed together with ambient remixes of traditional Christmas songs. With the Hotel de Ville and the other gilded buildings as a backdrop, the effect was awesome. It was the best light show I can remember. Later in the night, a Belgian singer held a concert on the square and sang a bunch of Christmas carols. Given how much fun I had, I might go back just one last time before I leave.

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