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Leuven in a festive mood at the end of January, Source: City of Leuven

Leuven keeps the festive spirit on until March

Leuven keeps the festive spirit on until March

As a means to cheer up residents and businesses

You might have bid goodbye to Christmas and New Year celebrations long ago, but those who live in Leuven will keep the memory fresh for another couple of weeks. Unlike previous years, the Belgian city will not be removing holiday decorations in mid-January. Instead, the municipality decided to leave on the festive lighting until 7 March and adapt it, so that local residents can enjoy the joyous mood for longer.

Good mood means good sales

Much like every city in Europe, in the last weeks of the year, Leuven authorities make sure to turn the festive mode on with thousands of lights, Christmas trees and a variety of decorations. Accordingly, once the holiday season is over, in the middle of January starts a laborious process of dismantling these decorations.

Last holiday season, however, has been like no other in the recent history of the city due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, everyone, from citizens to businesses, need a little extra effort to boost their mood.

That is why the City Council of Leuven decided to adjust the lighting instead of removing it and to leave it in place until 7 March. Elements alluding to the festivities are being removed and replaced by atmospheric features that provide a feeling of warmth both during the day and in the evenings. The city centre and also the boroughs will get adapted decoration.

We hope that the mood lighting will give people the courage and support to keep going,” Alderman for Public Works Dirk Vansina was quoted saying on the city website.

For our entrepreneurs this is even more than a message of hope,” added Alderman for Trade Johan Geleyn. He further pointed out that the extended lighting period includes some commercially important days, such as the winter sales in January, the period around Valentine's Day and the first shopping weekend of March.

This year, many of the promotional activities conducted by the city and the trade association cannot take place, due to the health restrictions, hence the decoration of windows, winter walks and now the mood lighting should be optimally implemented, he concluded.

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