On Thursday last week one of the big events of the Festive Season kicked off. Yes, it was Turn on the Lights, which those of you with long memories will remember, we first went to last year. I headed into town early and dragged Himself away from his desk in order to get a good spot to see everything!
We got there with plenty of time and then debated with friends where would be the best spot to stand. You know you’ve been here a while when you randomly run into people you know when the city at large is converging on Dam Square! Which, we did!
It was very different to last year! With giant balloons which I’m sure were telling a story. I’m just not entirely sure what the story was. But the adlibbed version from K was highly entertaining!
The giant balloon puppets were being dragged all over the square and manipulated by performers on the ground. They were manoeuvred in and out of the crowd and all around the entire Dam.
There were also performers on stilts in lit costumes wending their way through the thousands in the crowd also. Some of the outfits were more abstract than others. They looked remarkably South American tribal in influence to me, but I may have been influenced by my trips to the TropenMuseum.
I thought the birds were a brilliant piece of costuming engineering though!
But then randomly, and a little surprisingly, there was a giant snake! And it got into a fight with the giant gekko! Yes. Really.
I wasn’t entirely sure either. But when I checked out the video on youtube the next day, apparently the snake had been attacking the deBijenkorf building. De Bijenkorf puts on this little extravaganza each year.
At the climax of the fight there was a HUGE explosion! Billions of paper spots were flung into the air, fireworks went off, and the lights were on!
It was a remarkable spectacular, as was last year! And I was impressed with just how different this year was from last year.
I was reliably informed by my phone that it was 4°C but felt like 0°C. We stood in the centre of Dam Square with thousands of other people, watching the performance, and being a part of the larger picture.
By the end of the evening the lights were on, the shopping season had now officially begun (it’s a debate as to whether this opened the season, or Sinterklaas arriving from Spain started it all. I think my views would be different if I had children that didn’t have fur) and we move ever onward towards the Sints home invasion!