An original translation by ‘Wachteres’
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 11:35
Brussels town Councillor Bianca Debaets (CD & V) regrets that there will be no traditional Christmas tree anymore on the ‘Grote Markt’ Central Market Place) this year. will stand. “I suspect that its reference to religion has settled the matter is the decisive factor.” The city denies that this is the case.
Until last year every year there was a Christmas tree on the Grand Place.
The City announced Wednesday that this year there will be no traditional Christmas tree on the ‘Grote Markt’. Instead there will be an illuminated artwork in the form of a tree, an “electronic Christmas tree.”
Debaets is not happy with that decision. “After the ‘Christmas’ market was not allowed to be called a ‘Christmas market’ anymore, but ‘Winter Wonders’ now another element has to go that might refer too much to Christmas,” she says.
“The Christmas tree as such is not necessarily a Christian or a religious symbol, but it bears obviously a reference to Christmas. I suspect that this very reference of the tree will ban the Christmas tree from the Market. And that is a shame.”
Debaets thinks a historical and multi religious city should respect the traditions alive and should allow space for all convictions. “For a lot of people who are not Christians, the tree should take part in it,” she concludes from the reactions she got from residents and merchants.
“What will come next?” Debaets wonders. “All Easter eggs banned from the city because they refer to Easter? If this is the new style of the brand new Brussels City Board I fear for the outcome.”
According to Nicolas Dassonville, spokesman for Mayor Thielemans (PS), the change has nothing to do with anti-religious motives. “In that case we would have cancelled the crib?” he tell brusselnieuws.be. “But that will stay, and moreover, it is not true that there is no Christmas tree. On the contrary: by turning it into an illuminated artwork, we highlight the tree even more. Therefore, it will more than ever be in the heart of the ‘Grote Markt’.
Translated by Wachteres.