Christmas draws near and cities around the world are showcasing the festive spirit with grand Christmas set-ups from light-laden Christmas trees to snow-sprinkled displays at core locations. Here are some of the profound places around the globe where you will find remarkable Christmas structures in tandem with the oncoming seasonal spirit.
ROCKEFELLER PLAZA, NEW YORK
The Big Apple really knows how to put on a Christmas party and no one knows it better than the folks at Rockefeller Plaza. For over 80 years, they’ve put up and decorated the city’s biggest and brightest Christmas tree. A symbol of the holidays for New Yorkers, this year’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony will kick off on 3 December 2014 complete with live performances in the evening. The Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree will remain lit until 7 January 2015, so there’s ample time to catch it even after the Yuletide season.
OXFORD STREET, LONDON
For 55 years, scores of visitors throng Oxford Street to marvel at the highly-decorated place. In addition to stores and shops showing off their own elaborate Christmas displays, Oxford Street itself will be sparkling thanks to its 1,700 glowing white orbs and festive lights. Each year, the lighting ceremony itself takes precedence and becomes an event of its own, with performances and a celebrity who will be tasked to officially switch on the lights for the first time. The Oxford Street Christmas lights will remain lit until 6 January 2015.
ORCHARD ROAD, SINGAPORE
It may be the tropics but a stroll during the Christmas period along Singapore’s famed Orchard Road may make you feel otherwise. For six weeks beginning mid-November, Orchard Road transforms into a magical Christmas street complete with glittering lights, elaborate decorations and brightly-lit trees. The festive decorations stretch on for over two kilometres with hotels and shopping malls getting on with the program with window displays, performances, and carollers, all of which contribute to Orchard Road’s Christmas carnival atmosphere.
Although it’s more subdued compared to most other cities during the festive season, Rome offers visitors a more spiritual and traditional Christmas vibe. Still, despite faith being the central theme, Rome isn’t without its Christmas decorations, decorated trees and streets as well as festivities. Plus, the weather in Rome during the year-end period is rather pleasant, which makes visiting this European destination in December ideal for visitors in search of the true meaning of Christmas.
The citizens of Cologne really love Christmas and they’re happy to show it. Every November and December, the town transforms itself into an ultimate Christmas destination complete with decorated buildings, and festive cheer. But the true appeal of Cologne during the holidays lies with its eight different Christmas markets lined-up all over the city. The markets have been a mainstay attraction for visitors in Europe during the Christmas period as they not only spread the joy of Christmas but also offer a wide variety of holiday treats, meals, sweets, gifts as well as souvenirs.