New Year's Eve fireworks show returns to central Brussels

New Year's Eve fireworks show returns to central Brussels
The fireworks show in the centre of Brussels. Credit: Belga/ Nicolas Maeterlinck

After a two-year absence marked by Covid, the renowned New Year fireworks show will return to central Brussels for the enjoyment of locals and tourists.

At the stroke of midnight on 31 December, the traditional colourful display of fireworks will once again thrill crowds. The last show was in 2019.

"This year, all those who want to gather under a glittering sky to celebrate the transition to 2023 together will be welcomed at the Place des Palais," read a statement from Brussels Mayor Philippe Close and Alderman Delphine Houba announcing the show's return.

The show is returning to the centre again this year after it was moved to the Heysel plateau on New Year's Eve 2017. Three editions of the colourful display could be watched by the public from the Atomium esplanade.

More information about the practicalities of the fireworks display will be announced soon.

Region-wide ban

It is hoped that the return of the official fireworks display will deter people from letting off their own pyrotechnics. As a preemptive measure, it was decided last week that lighting fireworks anywhere in the Brussels-Capital Region will be prohibited.

The ban followed calls from various local police zones and will prohibit the possession and transport of recreational fireworks, as well as sirens and sound guns. The ban will be enforced in public spaces especially from 23 December to 9 January 2023.

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For the wellbeing of animals, Flemish Animal Welfare Minister Ben Weyts asked local councils to impose a ban on setting off fireworks. Yet a recent survey found that one in three municipalities in Flanders will still allow people to see in the New Year with a literal bang, including in the region's big cities.

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