Considered as the capital of Belgium, Brussels is a hodgepodge of languages and traditions and still a city with unity. This spirit of unity becomes more evident in its newly organized Light Festival that fetches people from the capital and far beyond it. Introduced in 2013 and falling in October end, the festival of light attracts families with kids and teens, elderly people, and individuals to participate in a lively four-day international celebration. Considering its democratic inclination, it is not surprising for this fiesta to be free for anyone to attend.
(Photo credits: Emmanuel Raza)
Enlightening the Mind
The festival occurs along the popular canal, between Sainctelette and Armateurs Squares. It features imaginative light shows, outstanding performances, and convivial winter barbecue. Along the canal, you get to pass through the following artistic creations that brightly lit the fall nights.
(Photo Credits: Miguel Discart)
- Torre de Pisa: An artistic representation of Tower of Pisa, made up of wood and boasting thousands of colorful LEDs
- Mr Beam: A colorful video projection bringing the sole classical edifice in the festive area to life
- Elephantastic: A real looking African elephant in the shed
- Dancing House: A lit construction on the port dancing as you dance and move
- Tesla Coil Fight: A mystical setup in metal costumes representing the Lords of Lightning striking the two towers in the dark
- CanaLazer: A stunning laser show spanning the main pathway of the port
- Skeleton Dance: An underworld mystery breaking open along the Peniches’ quay
- Slingshot: A virtual catapult for shooting your own message on the wall
- Winter BBQ: A camping and barbecue area marking the end of the fiesta’s route
- Lighthouse: A big rotating beacon atop pulling people towards the port
- Boat Fireworks: A collaboration of kids living in Petit Château (orphanage) arranging a fireworks show on the boat
(Photo Credits: Miguel Discart)
Of these, some of the most fantastical displays are the giant elephant hologram, projections converting the street into a real 3D movie screen, and quirky interactive show of the Dancing House that moves in response to movement happening on the sidewalk. This latter one is worth understanding and experiencing. Apart from these signature highlights, visitors even enjoy laser beams over the water, mysterious animations on artistic canvasses, and charming light displays down the canal.
More to See and Enjoy
(Photo Courtesy: Piotr Ingling)
Most attractions of the festival exist around Canal Sainctelette but a few worthy light installations are visible even from far places. One such installation is of Mr. Beam seen from the central taxi rank. However, it is worth visiting it from close to spot a dancing light around a classical edifice. Apart from that, the light curtains spread over urban corners as well as illuminated projections enlightening the dark streets, bridges, squares, and edifices. Further, do explore Avenue du Port, the town’s last industrial-style street boasting most interesting structural designs.
Last but not the least; snack vendors, street performers, and merry makers add more charm to this thrilling convergence of electrical amusement.