Extravagant Christmas Cheer Around the World
December 10, 2020
By Samantha Accola
Look to the joy of Christmas to lift your spirits as we finish this year! Around the globe, people believe in the future of our world, and we too can have faith and hope that good things are coming. Pull out the ornaments, family photo albums, and holiday traditions to keep your home feeling cheerful and warm. To grow your Christmas enthusiasm, we’ve rounded up a peek at these festive locations and events that inspire us to live in the light and celebrate the love this special occasion gives us! Let our global neighbors inspire you by the gift of extravagant Christmas cheer around the world!
Oxford Street, London
As one of the most sought-after shopping destinations, Oxford Street goes above and beyond with holiday decor and store-front festivity. Baby, it might be cold outside, but this spectacular English experience will warm your heart. For 2020, the famed road has switched up its illuminated look. Sprawling the mile-long district, twenty-seven LED curtains of light drape across the buildings—a total of 222,000 individual bulbs—promoting hopeful phrases for the season.
Rockefeller Center, New York City
Skate in the iconic Rockefeller ice rink in the heart of Midtown Manhattan! Let the city lights brighten your year as you reminiscence on your favorite things about the Christmas holiday. Overlooking the wintery plaza is the 77-foot-tall Norway spruce that will keep you inspired with its intricate details and magical presence amid the concrete jungle. The tree-lighting tradition in New York City started in 1933, and more than half a million people pass the brightly lit evergreen every day.
Symphony of Lights, Hong Kong
This eye-catching multimedia show combining lights, music, and narration involves nineteen shining buildings on Hong Kong Island. As though with the flip of a switch, the skyscrapers perform a light show of glowing colors and lasers to celebrate the city. It’s truly a fourteen-minute choreographed holiday extravaganza!
Walt Disney World, Orlando
2020 can’t steal the joy from the happiest place on Earth! Some attractions, restaurants, and hotels at Disney parks are closed due to the coronavirus. Still, the theme park is open with all the holiday decor you could wish for, with a limited visitor capacity. Many of the famed Disney Christmas parades have been canceled for 2020, but the characters still walk about the park to impart socially distanced love and cheer to visitors. Adventure to sunny Florida for an unforgettable trip, or watch your favorite Disney movie at home to keep the tradition alive!
Lagoa Floating Christmas Tree, Rio de Janeiro
Rock around this Christmas tree—from your boat or the Brazilian shores of Rio! For the family who’d rather have a sandy-white Christmas, December in Rio will be the trip of a lifetime as the Lagoa floating Christmas tree will no doubt have you believing in miracles. Standing at over 280 feet in the air, the tree has twice been included in the Guinness Book of Records since the event’s inception in 1996 as the largest floating tree in the world. Rio de Janeiro is full of holiday celebrations and is also known for hosting the world’s largest display of full-sized nativity scenes during its annual Festival de Presépios (“Crib Festival”) at Jardim de Alah between Leblon and Ipanema.
The Biltmore estate, Asheville
Holiday spirit is serious business in the Blue Ridge Mountains town of Asheville. Lighting the torch of Christmas, or many torches, the Biltmore Estate’s annual decorations include over a hundred Christmas trees, 25,000 ornaments, 10,000 festive lights, and 1,200 poinsettias. Visit during the winter evenings for live music and a candlelight celebration, or take a day tour and discover the rich history and holiday decor of Biltmore House. This year, the Asheville mansion celebrates the 125th Anniversary of the first Vanderbilt Christmas at the estate and welcomes you to join the festivities!
VanDusen Festival of Lights, Vancouver
Walk the winter wonderland path through VanDusen Garden’s annual Festival of Lights. The event is reimagined for 2020 with a new one-way path to safely guide visitors through the themed greenery and grow their imaginations as they explore the world around them. With more than a million lights illuminating the Botanical Garden’s grounds and cherished holiday music playing, visitors can expect a holiday experience like no other! Explore the glittering Christmas trees, take a carousel ride, and watch one of the park’s magnificent eight-minute light shows.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at VIE! We hope these fanciful festivals and traditions inspire you to celebrate with those closest to you and embrace the love in the winter air.