posted on November 2nd, 2021

Belfast’s festive countdown to get underway with enchanted weekend

Belfast’s festive season will get off to a magical start with two ‘enchanted evenings’ on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November marking the start of a seasonal programme of family fun and activities.

Based on this year’s Christmas theme ‘Once Upon a Time in Belfast’, visitors will be able to enjoy a dazzling array of street performances, light projections, music, dance and window animations over the weekend of 20-21 November, with other festive activities taking place each weekend in the run up to Christmas.

Saturday 20 November also marks the return of the popular Christmas Market at City Hall.

Lord Mayor Councillor Kate Nicholl said while the traditional Christmas lights switch-on event isn’t happening this year, an exciting programme of festive events would mean plenty for people to enjoy in Belfast the run up to Christmas.

“This year we continue to make safety a priority and create a Christmas experience that people can enjoy throughout the festive season,” said Councillor Nicholl.

“Everyone loves the magic of fairy tales and the two enchanted evenings will mark the start of our wider ‘Once Upon a Time’ themed Christmas programme, with activities happening across the city centre.

“It has been a really challenging year as we all continue to navigate the ongoing pandemic and the impact it has had, and continues to have; but Christmas is a time of hope, and I’m really excited to see Belfast lit up for the festive season. I hope that it will help to lift spirits and spread a little bit of cheer this festive season.”

The festive programme includes everything from laugh-out-loud street theatre and acrobatics to pop-up musical performances, including choral classics, opera, roving samba bands and bagpipes. Local dance troupes will be popping up when you least expect, as well as magical illuminations and captivating light projections.

Other events include Christmas at the Grimm Hotel at Cityside Retail and Leisure Park, festive window displays and lighting, and a Christmas Belfast Music programme. There will also be pop-up street performances every weekend from 1pm to 5pm.

Councillor Nicholl added: “We have designed our Christmas programme with the local retail and hospitality sectors in mind, with the aim of enhancing people’s festive experience whether you’re in town shopping or socialising, or you’re a visitor or tourist to the city.

“Shop windows will also be transformed with festive displays to make shoppers’ experience extra-special in the coming days and weeks, so I would encourage people to buy local and support local businesses where they can.”


For more information on Christmas activities in the city visit