Christmas extravaganza in Lisbon.jpg

Christmas extravaganza in Lisbon

THERE MAY be a crisis, but it wasn’t evident from the light, music and fireworks extravaganza that took place in Lisbon on Saturday evening.

Tens of thousands of people thronged the Eduardo VII Park and adjacent streets to see the Christmas lights on the huge tree switched on, followed by a spectacular firework display.

The Resident was invited to the party, sponsored by Zon TV Cabo, at Lisbon’s chic restaurant Eleven above the park, which afforded a spectacular view not only of the fireworks and tree but also the crowds cheering below.

Nobody was disappointed as the 44-metre tree, which is lit by 1.6 million micro-bulbs, changed from yellow to blue and then a mixture of red, green, blue and gold.

Firework rockets shot up into the sky along both sides of the park from the top to Marquês de Pombal, illuminating the sky in hues of gold and creating a corridor of light down to the roundabout.

Lisbon Mayor, António Costa, and the CEO of Zon Multimedia, Rodrigo Costa, officially switched on the lights to the Christmas tree which gave the signal for the pyrotechnic light and sound show to begin with the strains of Once Upon a Time in Africa sounding out over the faces of an enchanted public.

The tree, which is situated above Parque Eduardo VII in the Amália Rodrigues Garden, will be illuminated every night between 5.30pm to 1am until January 6.

The rest of Lisbon, too, was filled with light and colour with the usual excellent and original display of Christmas lights gracing the main streets and squares of the city’s downtown Baixa, in what is considered one of the best Christmas lights displays anywhere in Europe, far outstripping displays in London and Paris.