In three sister cities Christmas festivals and celebrations opened this weekend.
The Christian world started preparing for Christmas celebration, cities are decorated with festive illuminations everywhere, fairs are opened on the streets.
In Duisburg, the Christmas market has been held for 39 years in a row already. This largest city event, popular with citizens and numerous tourists, has also grown into a source of constantly growing income for the city. The central streets transform into a fair, sparkling with a sea of lights, decorated with fir trees, saturated with the smell of cinnamon and cloves. This year a winter village was built: 150 fair participants housed in 130 decorative huts. They offer guests traditional Christmas crafts, original gifts, decorations and treats.
Christmas market will be open until the New Year. Live performances of musicians and DJs, theatrical performances and readings, seminars and competitions are scheduled as a part of festive events. Visitors to the fair can take part in the “Culinary Tour” in the village, visit the ice-rink. Guests are greeted by a chorus with Christmas singing and, of course, St. Nikolaus will be waiting for everyone in his fairy tent.
Christmas festivities in Louisville are also traditional: every November the city center has turned into a bright eventful place for almost 40 years in a row. This year, a series of celebrations opened “Light Up Louisville” festival.
Last weekend, a Christmas village appeared in the center of Louisville, where treats, decor items and gifts for upcoming holidays are sold. Master classes and contests for children are also held there. A festive train for the children rolls along the decorated streets. A special Christmas radio broadcasts in the city, there’re performances by street musicians. The most anticipated event of the past weekend was a parade of lights, as representatives of various urban communities, including sports and car clubs, children’s art groups and public organizations, marched through the main streets of the city in a festive procession. The parade ended with the arrival of a special guest from the North Pole. Santa Claus and Mayor Fisher officially opened the City Tree, located in Jefferson Square, and also gave the command: Light Up Louisville!. Fireworks and lasers flashed in the city, and thousands of Christmas lights were lit simultaneously.
“Louisville is known worldwide for its unique festivals and events. “Light up Louisville” is a great start of the holiday season,” says Karen Williams, president and CEO of Louisville Tourism, the festival’s silver sponsor this year. “This family holiday will be an excellent opportunity for all citizens and tourists to start making plans for the future Christmas holidays and visit our city, its surroundings, museums and parks.”
“Undiscovered Oxford” festival was held in Oxford the same weekend. The three-day events should show the citizens and tourists the streets of the city in a new light, in the literal and figurative sense, when every participant of the events would walk through Oxford and rediscover the beauty of the place.
Spectacular lighting installations unfolded on the city’s iconic buildings. Projects artists Lux Muralis and Fusion Arts created projections on the buildings of the Museum of Natural History, inside the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin and in the Bodleian Library of the Caledonian Church. Dancers, musicians, actors performed on stage, in the air and on pop-up “windows” on the walls of houses. A parade of lanterns passed through the historic streets. Worked a fair with unique craft workshops offering handmade gifts and treats.
As City Events Officer, Rachel Capell, an employee of the municipal department of city events, wrote on the festival website: “We chose the theme“ Undiscovered Oxford ”for the festival so that all its guests could see our city in a new light. We live in small groups every day, be it family, work, or affinity group. I hope that many Festival’s events will push people out of their comfort zones, give them new connections and impressions. I want people at the festival to say: “I didn’t know that about Oxford” or “I didn’t expect to see it here.”
In Perm festive events will commence a little later than that of their sister colleagues. On November 28, the main city tree near Theater-Theater (Perm Drama Theatre) will be opened by Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug. An Asian style ice village“Wind from the East” will be built, there by December 30. Each city district will also host a small ice complex – 10 across the city. The esplanade will accommodate an ice-ring and the Festival House, which, like last year, will have a wide entertaining and educational program. For the first time, free New Year’s merry-go-rounds will be opened for young citizens: on the esplanade, in front of the Ural Hotel and in the theater square. Free heating points will be installed at the city’s central streets. For the first time, Perm citizens will be treated to a Christmas light show, that will run every two hours from 6 am until midnight on January 7 on the square near the Theater-Theater. By Christmas a Christmas nativity scene made of ice will be installed in the ice village.