Christmas baubles with QR codes make sure the wishes won't get lost, Source: City of Bruges

Bruges listens to residents with a Wishing Christmas Trees Forest

Bruges listens to residents with a Wishing Christmas Trees Forest

This year’s edition of the local tradition gets a digital dimension as well

The City of Bruges has placed not just one Christmas tree but a whole grove of them at De Burg main square. The plant group, consisting of 30 trees, is called a Wishing Tree Grove (Wensbomenbosje) because residents have the chance to hang a note with a wish on the branches of the trees.

In this case, it won’t be Santa Claus but rather the local government that will read the wishes, but just like the old jolly man they have the power to make at least some of them come true.

Recent Christmas tradition from Bruges

This is the third year in a row that the town council has placed the Wishing Tree Grove, thus it seems to be set on becoming a modern local tradition of sorts. Plus, the initiative itself originated from a wish by the local inhabitants to have this – very metaphysical.

Residents and guests to the city can hang their wishes until 7 January 2024. After that, the city administration will read the wishes, and the mayor and aldermen will decide which are the most suitable and realistic for implementation.

The new addition this year are the Christmas baubles featuring QR codes, which let people place their wishes online and publish them in real-time to the public. This also has a practical implication because last year some of the notes got wet making the wishes scribbled on them illegible. For those who are still more traditionally minded though, there will be birdhouses where they can place paper wishes.

Digitization also allows for the wishes to be projected on a screen in the middle of the grove. By projecting mainly warm and inspiring wishes, this also gives the grove a cosy, magical atmosphere.



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