As a society that is predominant in Christianity until recently, Belgians embraced the celebration of Christmas years ago as one of its single most important and widely celebrated holidays. While the religious connotation has continued to wane significantly, the city of Belgium still represents a torch of celebrating Christmas and all that it carries. To the hearts of many Citizens of Belgium, cozy villages carved from wooden chalets, as well as family-centered Christmas Eve, and even surrounding an overflowing table remains a popular tradition.
Are you in search of tips and pointers on how Christmas is celebrated in Belgium? We’ve got you covered for your stay at our hotel in Mons city centre.
Sinterklaas Celebration in Belgium
Have you ever come across the word “Sinterklaas”? How about Saint Nicholas? But you might have heard of Santa Claus, isn’t it? In Belgium, kids do not engage in the usual Christmas activity of waiting for Santa Claus, and they do not really care about the celebration of Christmas. Let’s take a brief look at the reason behind that.
The reason is quite simple. It is believed that Santa Claus has nothing to do with coming to the Netherlands, or Belgium, or even Luxembourg and the surrounding cities. Though, there are indications that Santa Claus appeared everywhere in the past years. However, children in Belgium and Dutch towns do not get gifts and presents from Santa.
Usually, Sinterklaas refers to the old traditions that date back to the third century. In fact, the name Santa Claus was believed to have come from Sinterklaas. Historically, Sinterklaas was known to be an older man that has a long beard and white hair.
He wears a traditional bishop’s outfits, which includes a long red cape, white lab, red mitre, white gloves, and a bug ruby ring. In his time, he rides his white horse while holding a long gold-colored staff. Apart from that, he holds a red book that contains the names of all children with updated information on the behavior of each child in the past year.
Most Belgian cities host a Christmas market in December and Mons is no exception! Every year, Mons Grand Place (main square of the city) comes to life for Christmas. This year, from the 6th of December until the 5th of January, Mons Coeur de Neige takes place.
You’ll discover a Christmas village, with different entertainments, like a a Christmas shape carousel, covered giant ice rink or the Chritsmas tower, a 8 meters high chalet dedicated to one region specialties. This year, it’s the French region, Alsace in this chalet.
You can also wander around the craftsmen market, to find the perfect gift for you or your family. Coeur de Neiges is opened to everybody: bring your children to say hi to Santa Claus or post a wish list for Christmas.
Christmas and After
On the 6th of December of every year, which is regarded as Saint Nicholas Day, children wake up to plenty of gifts, including chocolates, candy, cookies, and so forth. The presents brought by this man are believed to take several months to finish on the part of the kids. In Belgium, some of these kids are not able to consume all these presents until when the Easter Bunny arrives.
After all the gifts and presents have been delivered to these kids, and the boat becomes empty, Sinterklaas will then prepare to leave. It is believed that he heads back to Spain for a well-deserved vacation. And yes, kids in Belgium will also get some sleep since they won’t receive that kind of present till the following Christmas.
There you have it! We believed that you now have a feel of how Christmas is being celebrated in Belgium. Enjoy a magical Christmas in our luxury hotel in Mons!