At first glance, Brussels seems to have a rather elegant, magical take on Christmas:
Brussels’ Galeries St Hubert during the festive period
Brussels’ landmark Hotel de Ville in Grand Place, beautifully lit up for Christmas, with a stunning fifteen minute light show illuminating the whole of Grand Place hourly every night during December
The Maison du Roi and other guildhalls with centrepiece tree in Grand Place …
… and a life sized nativity scene
A rather sombre scene
Is that really supposed to be the Virgin Mary or Game of Thrones‘ Cersei Lannister? (She looks rather displeased)
The animals (real, not mannequins) were at least more jolly in their composure. He’s a very contented sheep indeed
Whilst walking around the Belgian capital early in December (2014), I couldn’t help but notice a few unusual and rather weird touches to Brussels’ seasonal celebrations.
An alternative Christmas scene outside Brussels’ famous Amadeo “The Place for Ribs” restaurant. At first glance it looks rather cute and lovely …
… but what was probably an innocent attempt at making the piece secure actually appears rather sinister. The animals look as though they have been lassoed with a chain by a rather shifty looking character disguised as Santa. What on earth is he going to do to them? No wonder they look anxious
The Manège d’Andrea (Andrea’s Merry-go-round) in Place Sainte Catherine, was built in 1999 by François Delaroziér and the artistic group ‘Les Machines‘ in Toulouse, France. This fascinating carousel is made from an array of natural materials and several pieces of junk and rubbish including parts from discarded electrical goods and motorbikes. The result is something incredibly beautiful but also very weird indeed, and something that would never pass any Health & Safety test here in England:
The weirdly beautiful Manège d’Andrea in Place Sainte Catherine during Christmas
How on earth does one get up into that? (And who would want to?)
One brave little boy did manage to climb into the floating pufferfish (with help from Dad). Clearly he hasn’t noticed the figure below him
What the …?
The stuff of nightmares. No wonder there were hardly any other children riding this carousel all night
The annual Plaisiers D’Hiver celebrated throughout the city has a centrepiece Christmas Fair in front of Sainte Catherine’s church and the grounds of the Marché aux Poissons. Again, first impressions were that this was a delightful, magical, festive fair …
… but Brussels’ weird sense of festive humour and celebration crept its way into here as well:
More of those serious-looking, pale Grand Place mannequins have popped up here too, on the roof of this Christmas stall
Cheer up, it’s Christmas
The oddest festive creature of all however, not just in Brussels but anywhere I have ever visited during Christmas time must be this:
Clearly unique to Belgium, the ‘Funny’ Christmas Ice Monster. Apparently, one can find out “who stole Christmas” inside him
I think I’ll pass
Certainly some unique and interesting ways to celebrate Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas with frolicking elves, seductive baubles and interesting interpretations of the nativity in the German city of Cologne.