London lights up for the Christmas season
The now familiar Christmas on London's Regent Street have some company this year. Since 12 November, 20 iconic London streets have switched on their Christmas lights - all at the same time. It's a first for the British capital that usually lights up different shopping streets on separate dates ahead of Christmas. The lights are supported by the Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA), a local business association. On Oxford Street, falling shooting stars light up the pavements in cross patterns. Many of the big chain stores have not yet dressed their Christmas windows, but hints of festive spirit are still there. And with the temperatures slowly dipping as the country heads into winter, it's a good excuse for people to venture out. In Covent Garden, the market and its surroundings are set for the holiday season. A 55-foot (17-metre)-tall Christmas tree greets visitors, accompanied by its 30,000 lights. In Carnaby Street, more than 600 sparkling 3D and 2D butterflies hang in the air. The art installation, called "Carnaby Christmas Kaleidoscope," was handmade and set up in collaboration with Choose Love, a NGO supporting refugees. The street's decoration offers a very different and more colourful take on Christmas displays. After almost two years since the start of the pandemic and the relaxation of travel restrictions, businesses are hoping the lights will help draw more people into their shops. But for now, the crowd mostly remain British.