Brussels’ Grand Place bedecked with Latvian Christmas tree
Share article:
Share article:

Brussels’ Grand Place bedecked with Latvian Christmas tree

©Belga
©Belga

The traditional Christmas tree, from Latvia this year, took up residence on Brussels’ Grand Place at 3 am on Thursday morning. It was moved by crane and standing tall by 8 am. The 18.3m-high spruce was chosen by they mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs. It was cut down in a Latvian forest on Friday and shipped across the sea on Saturday to arrive in the German port of Liepaja Travemünde. A special convoy then transported it to Antwerp. It was set in one of the three wells, over 2-meters deep, beneath the cobblestones of the Grand Place.

The city’s Christmas trees usually come from the Walloon region, but this year Riga insisted, as 2014 European Capital of Culture, on gifting the capital of Europe with a Christmas tree. “Latvia will chair the EU during the first quarter of 2015,” added Inga Barisa, Riga representative for the European Union. “So it’s wonderfully symbolic for Latvia to close this 2014 year of European culture and open the presidency with this Christmas tree in Brussels”.

Legend has it that the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree was borne in Riga. “In the early 1500s, children decorated the tree which, as was the tradition of the time, was then set on fire.” says Inga Barisa.

By the start of the weekend, the tree will have been decorated according to Latvian cultural heritage, with silver coins, by a Latvian decorator. Additionally, some 7,000 twinkling lights and 10,000 white lights will grace the tree.

(Source: Belga)

Latest news

Flanders introduces ‘invisible’ speed cameras
New digital speed cameras that are essentially invisible to the road user are being introduced on various roads and motorways in Flanders, Flemish ...
Warnings issued for slippery roads across Belgium
Drivers have been asked to watch out for slippery roads from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening, as snow and cold temperatures are expected ...
Testing rules following high-risk contact eased for vaccinated people
The coronavirus testing policy following a high-risk contact has been eased, meaning a vaccinated person who was in contact with an infected person ...
New measures announced for Belgian schools
Stricter rules are being implemented across a variety of sectors in Belgium to curb the rising number of infections and limit the damage as a result ...
Majority of booster doses should be administered by March 2022
Invitations will be sent out in the following days for the general population in Belgium to receive a coronavirus booster vaccine, and most adults ...
Belgium adopts national plan to combat gender-based violence
Belgium has adopted a National Action plan for the Fight against Gender-Based Violence, which includes more than 200 measures and unites all levels ...
Antwerp cancels Christmas market and New Year’s Eve fireworks
The city of Antwerp has joined other cities including Leuven and Ghent by announcing it is cancelling this year's Christmas market, the end-of-year ...
Pharmaceutical companies looking into vaccines against new variant
Pharmaceutical companies have sprung into action to look into vaccine protection against the new coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa, ...
Belgium imposes entry ban on travellers from southern Africa
Belgium is introducing an entry ban for travellers from several countries in the south of Africa following concerns about a new variant (B.1.1.529) ...
What Ursula did next
BRUSSELS BEHIND THE SCENES • Weekly analysis and untold stories
Nightclub closures, limiting contacts: These rules come into force today
Just over one week after its last meeting, Belgium's Consultative Committee on Friday once again announced a set of new measures to curb the rising ...
Almost 3,500 Covid-19 patients in hospitals as new cases continue to skyrocket
The number of new coronavirus cases in Belgium is continuing to rise, and with it the number of Covid-19 patients who are hospitalised as a result of ...