What is Europe preparing for Christmas?
There are a little less than two months left before the New Year, and we are already looking forward to getting ready: we are making plans for the holidays, we are thinking about presents … But what is it – holiday fever is marching around the planet.
Sunday – working day
From November 1 to the end of December, Finnish shops, contrary to their usual routines, operate on Sundays. According to the pre-Christmas schedule, on the seventh day of the week, Finland’s stores will be open from 12:00 to 21:00, except November 8 (Father’s Day) and December 6 (Independence Day).
The theme of the shops on Sundays is one of the most pressing for the Finnish – and not only – the public. By the end of 2009, a law is expected to be passed, according to which stores can, if desired, serve customers on weekends all year round, and small stores with a sales area of no more than 400 square meters – even around the clock.
The most interesting thing is in Belgium
Belgium risks becoming the most popular tourist destination in Europe, because this country is preparing a very rich program of Christmas events. This winter, everyone will be able to find what he wants in the country. One of the central events of the festive season will be the festival of snow and ice sculptures in Bruges.
From November 20 of this year to January 10, 2010 you can get into the giant ice cave, created by the efforts of 40 masters from around the world, decorated with numerous sculptures.
No less popular destination during the Christmas period will be Brussels. An ice rink with an area of 1,000 square meters will open here, as well as several festive markets.
Many events, new attractions and entertainments await tourists in other cities of Belgium: Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven. Local cuisine, culture and entertainment have always been the best in Europe for decades.
This year, George’s Dock opens again, a 12-day Christmas festival for adults and children in Dublin.
From December 10 to 23, travelers are invited to visit the festival to fully enjoy the festive atmosphere. The main event of the festival will be a festive market, in which more than 100 merchants of all kinds of Christmas goods will take part: hand-made products from stained glass, souvenirs, decorations, home goods and much more.
Especially for young guests of the festival, carousels will be set up at the fair square, and artists will delight everyone with amusing drawings as a keepsake. In addition, you can try traditional European Christmas dishes, sweet cakes, mulled wine, hot chocolate and much more.
Disneyland Christmas starts in November
At Disneyland Paris, Christmas will begin at Sleeping Beauty Palace along with Snow White and Prince Charming (remember the handsome prince from the Shrek cartoon?). From November 8 to January 6, the Christmas holiday will last here.
Many hotels collaborating with Disneyland, until January 2, 2010 provided free entrance to the park and accommodation. On December 5, 12 and 19, hotels offer guests dinners in the company of Disney cartoon characters.
On the main night, December 31, the park will be open until one in the morning, and those who wish will be able to celebrate New Year 2010 at the Palace of Sleeping Beauty.
Swiss resorts are preparing to receive Russian tourists: they are going to celebrate Russian Christmas on a grand scale here – with entertainment, fashion shows and dinners. SWISS Airlines increases the number of flights from Moscow to Switzerland during the high season in the Alps – on New Year’s holidays several additional flights are introduced per day: from Moscow to Geneva on December 26, 29 and 30, on January 2, 3 and 4, from Moscow to Zurich – 2 January 3 and 4. Reverse additional flights are scheduled from January 9 to 12.
The Swiss themselves are unlikely to stay at home during the New Year and Christmas holidays. But they choose a country for the rest for financial reasons and go to a place where they can make a successful shopping. Among the big cities, the most popular now are New York and Boston (due to the low dollar exchange rate).