Monday, December 20, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

For the past 55 years, Gouda's sister city in Norway has presented a giant tree as a gift to grace the square in front of its medieval City Hall.  A ceremony has been held the second Tuesday of December each year, since then, to light the tree. Electricity in the entire square is turned off as candles light the windows of every house and building surrounding it.

I've wanted to go since 2008, but for one reason or another was never able to.  This year I didn't let anything stop me, and even convinced my friend Jeannine to join me in standing around in sub-freezing temperatures for a few hours.

We were filled with the Christmas spirit as soon as we stepped out of Gouda's train station. Carollers sang at every corner.  Floating lanterns filled the canals.  Roads were lined with votive candles.  A Christmas market was held on the street leading to the square.  Everyone was in a joyful mood.

And then... there was tree lighting magic!

1 comment:

Jeannine said...

I'm glad this was the clip that made it onto your blog as opposed to various inappropriate comments and complaints about how cold it was made by a person who shall remain nameless ;)