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What's on this week: 15-21 December
In Wallonia and Brussels, the shortest day of the year is all about short movies. Le Jour Le Plus Court sees short films screened at Le PointCulture Bruxelles, the Ministry of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Federation, the Bibliothèque-Médiathèque le Phare, Bozar, Cinéma Galeries, la Maison de la Francité, Cinéma Aventure, l'Insas, Studio 5 at Flagey, and l’Espace Cadol. There are different themes in different locations, for instance, the Ministry will be showing 'From Animation to Experimentation', Bozar has the theme 'All About Sex', and Cinéma Galeries is screening movies about Summer.
Also on 21 December, the artisans of popup store Pimp My Street invites you from 18.00 to 21.00 with drinks and holiday sweets to help you discover their creations during your Christmas shopping.
What better way to spend a cold, dark Sunday afternoon than in a cosy pub enjoying some music? Classic Album Sundays celebrates the 20th anniversary of Bjork's Homogenic with a vinyl listening experience in the Cercle des Voyageurs. The lights are dimmed, the cushions are out, and after hearing the album in full, Hooverphonic co-founder Frank Duchêne will moderate a discussion on Bjork's work. (Sorry, the deadline for our prize giveaway has now passed and a winner has been selected.)
17 December 17.00-20.00, Le Cercle des Voyageurs, €10
Win tickets: A wonderful end-of-year treat, the 13th edition of the Be Film Festival is here with the best Belgian movies of 2017. The week before Christmas is an opportunity to catch up on those films you missed - with 28 films scheduled in total - and The Bulletin has tickets for you to win. Find out more and enter the prize draw here...
Instantanés d’Orient, a selection of photographs from the Biennial of Contemporary Photographers from the Arab world is on display at the Villa Empain. The group exhibition explores the contemporary Arab world through the diverse viewpoints of six photographers from Tunisia, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Germany who capture original portraits and troubling landscapes through their series of snapshots.
Until 11 February, Villa Empain
Three restaurants in the Ilot Sacré will get your weekend going with streetside counters. Pistolet Original (rue des Bouchers at the Royal Galleries) is offering retro cocktails; Scheltema (rue des Dominicains) is offering oysters on the half shell and white wine; and Vincent (across the street) is offering artisanal charcuterie and red wine.
Friday and Saturday 18.00-23.00
Last year the Winter Wonders created Showcase on the Grand-Place, a live concert. It was a huge hit so they are bringing it back this year. French singer Petit Biscuit and Belgian singer Henri PFR will be presenting their special brands of music from the balcony of City Hall.
19 December, 19.00
It’s the annual Christmas market extravaganza in the historic centre of Anderlecht this weekend. The market fills the Place de la Vaillance and the adjoining streets. There’s a live concert by The Gospel Wings on Friday in the Collegiate Church of Saints Peter and Guidon, and on Saturday there’s a fireworks display at 21.30 in front of the church. The market with 110 merchants runs until Sunday.
The Woluwe-Saint-Pierre Christmas market on Place Dumon in Stockel is officially named The Xmas Festival and they claim that they are different because the merchants must qualify for three stringent criteria: quality, originality and authenticity of products. Indoor under a large tent and outdoor with the chalet village.
La Tricoterie is organising its small (20-stand) Christmas Market this Sunday from 10.00 to 17.00 - a fair-trade market that supports local artisans. Recycled jewellery, textile creations for children and adults, original light fixtures, artisanal decorations and leather accessories. Traditional brunch available.
It’s the Christmas Designer Market this Sunday at La Tentation. This is a designers-only market with 50 designers presenting their creations. Cakes and pastries, food and drink, music. Free entrance.
If you're on the south side of town, Braine L’Alleud is presenting its Christmas Enchantments on the town's Grand-Place. Of course there’s a Christmas market but also magic shows, concerts, street theatre, dance performances, exhibitions and more.
Every Saturday evening during the Winter Wonders, a light parade will wind its way through downtown Brussels, dazzling passers-by at the Bourse, Grand-Place, Monnaie, Sainte-Catherine and Fishmarket