Image of carrousel and Hôtel de Ville in the background for Christmas
Let's Explore,  Seeing Paris

Blue Velvet Christmas in Paris

Three Paris monuments are wearing Blue Velvet this year. La Ville de Paris theme this year is “Paris Scintille” (Paris sparkles). Until January 3, Paris sparkles with white drops of light dripping down the façade of the Hôtel de Ville (City hall) and the Luxor Obelisk on Place de la Concorde. The Bastille Colonne de Juillet (July column) has no white drops but was my first dramatic glimpse of the blue velvet.

What You Will See

The Hôtel de Ville plaza is an illuminated, enchanted, fairy-tale forest with two free merry-go-rounds, including a double-decker. There are wood chalet kiosks with various treats. One kiosk is selling spiced wine, pretzels, waffles, etc. Another kiosk is selling crafts from the city of Paris’ Rendez-vous store made by artisans under the label “Fabriqué à Paris.”

The forest scene is the work of the city of Paris employees who are florists (fleuristes) and lumberjacks (bucherons). The trees, made up of sixty pine trees plus twenty birch trees potted in containers for the decoration were grown in Achères, Ile-de-France. At the end of the festivities some trees will continue their life in the green spaces of Paris. Others will end their life helping other plants grow as ground cover.

The lit-up Eiffel Tower and the bright red tree lights lining the Champs-Elysées act as a backdrop for the Luxor Obelisk, which dominates the plaza. Both the Obelisk and the Bastille July column are surrounded at their bases by lit pines and are over-dramatic with their strong reflections on these rainy December evenings.

Why Blue Velvet?

Based on the velvety blue hue and the play of lights, I was reminded of a song called “Blue Velvet”. Bernie Wayne and Lee Morris wrote the song in 1963. Bobby Vinton popularised the song. The first stanza reads:
She wore blue velvet
Bluer than velvet was the night
Softer than satin was the light
From the stars…..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2021!

#Paris #Christmas #HoteldeVille #EiffelTower #PlacedelaConcorde #Bastille #ParisScintille #ChampsElysees

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