*** Happy New Year and welcome back to Nessascityblog for 2017! ***
Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with locations for this post.
There are a few events to take us into the New Year as the Christmas festivities in the town draw to a close this weekend.
Stad Antwerp’s Winter Festivities conclude this weekend. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui, Groenplaats and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty -but the 8th is the last day. There’s skating on Groenplaats, a tubing slide on Steenplein and the ferris wheel by the Schelde. The atmosphere is friendly and festive, and it’s a great place to take visiting friends or family and kids. The Nello & Patrasche (A Dog of Flanders) statue was unveiled at the opening of the Christmas market, in December, in front of the Cathedral. This beautiful piece is the work Batist Vermeulen of Studio Tist.
On social media, you can share your Antwerp festive pictures with the hashtag #WinterinA
There’s a Winter Festival over at Spoor Oost, starting at 4pm and continuing until 9pm, including a ‘Burning Dragon’ spectacle, and activities for kids.
BATS (English Speaking Theatre in Antwerp) hold their usual Friday Open Evening at their Little Theatre on Paardemarkt at 8.30pm -go along to meet members of BATS, have a drink at the bar, or to find out more about being part of the productions they do. Their pantomime is coming soon to Arenberg Theatre!
For a different type of guided walk, you may enjoy an Antwerp Ghost Walk – again a good way to get to know the city if you are new. The full agenda can be seen on the site; it costs 12,50 and starts at 20.30 on Steenplein (by the statue of Lange Wapper).
Het Roze Huis holds its New Year’s reception at Den Draak starting at 8pm -enjoy dancing, and the tombola which will be raising money for their current project: LGBT youth suicide prevention & awareness.
If you are new to Antwerp, this New Year’s walk might be a great way to get to know the town. It is organised by Walk Antwerp and costs 18 euros (including a drink). It starts at 2pm from TeaKoff coffee shop (Grote Pieter Potstraat) and lasts about hours. You need to register beforehand by mailing email@example.com and the walk will take you round the historic centre of Antwerp, with a local guide.
And if you really haven’t had enough of shopping, you can head into town for the January sales -it’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open.
Alternatively, from 11am at de Roma theatre there is a vinyl & film expo all day until 17.30 for 4 euros in -tickets at the door.
There’s a New Year’s BBQ at the Scheldekaaien by the pedestrian tunnel from midday until 5pm.
The weather will be cold, but hopefully not freezing (around 3 degrees). There could be some light rain and drizzle, especially on Saturday.
Monday the 9th of January is “Verloren Maandag” (“Lost Monday”). It’s a tradition to eat sausage bread (worstenbrood) and appelbollen (fried apple cakes) on Verloren Maandag, which is always the first Monday after the 6th January (“Driekoningen”). There seem to be varying stories about this day, but it is celebrated in Antwerp province and was traditionally a day when no one worked and therefore lost a day’s salary (hence, “Lost” Monday). The city was supposed to provide during this day, and a cost-effective way of doing so was with the sausage bread and apple beignets. Some cafés and bars will observe the tradition by serving these foods.
If you have had a real Christmas tree in your home over the festive period, it can be put out with your regular rubbish in Antwerp throughout January for collection. Some will be burned to mark the end of the Winter In A season on Linkeroever next weekend.
A heads-up for runners: if you want to take part in the Plan Belgium Run on Sunday, March 12, 2017 (Park Spoor Noord) sign up soon (Antwerp Urban Trail on the drop-down menu), as places are running out (no pun intended).