How Christmas tree lighting kicked in the festive season mood

All photos by Dan Nsengiyumva

December is that time of the year when people slowly switch into the festive mood and there is no better way to do so than set alight the Christmas tree and other lights that are synonymous with the festive season.

Smiles sealed to people’s faces this past weekend as the Radisson Blu Hotel hosted a Christmas tree lighting extravaganza as children got the first taste of what the Christmas season should be like.


Christmas carols filled the air like a giant Christmas tree strategically located between the hotel and the convention centre with thousands of tiny bulbs dangling around it came to life.


The hotel hosts an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony attended by Children, families and friends as part of the events to kick off the festive season. 


It is an event mainly for children escorted by their parents get together to play, drink, dance, get gifts and play meet Santa.

From toddlers who can only clap their little hands to the adolescent who were excited to take pictures, one could easily see the essence of setting the mood for the upcoming festive season. There is no better place to feel the mood.

Tiara, 4, is one of the kids who attended the event with her two brothers and mother. Though she cannot talk yet, a big, constant smile tells a lot about how she is enjoying the event.

Kids laughed and played about as they enjoyed the goodies, some having set foot in the 5-star hotel for the first time.

Joseph Ineza, 12, said he has never been to KCC before and neither had he seen Santa nor a Christmas tree before. He could not help but roam around, shout, play and touch Christmas tree decors. He thought it was the coolest thing to happen to him.

“I am happy and excited to be in Kigali Convention Centre. It is the first time to be here. I always see it in pictures and on TV,” he said as he nibbled away on chocolate.

Happy children faces are inevitably exciting, specifically for parents who escorted their children to the event.

Eugene Gashagaza, a parent, said that regardless of his busy schedule, he brought his daughter and two sons for them to enjoy the event and the ambience.

 “It is a way to interact with your children, to take them away from TVs and other distractions and create a memorable experience for them with other children,”

He advised parents who get soaked into work and forget to create a relationship with their children to give it a priority this festive season and be with their children.

“The same way adults take time to rest when stressed, kids also need it and parents should not disregard that. They need to go out with their children and enjoy these kinds of moments especially during the festive season,” he said.

His son, Sisi Gashagaza felt lucky to have been able to witness the ceremony, saying that he enjoyed hanging out with others.

According to Hanna Moges, the marketing and communications manager at Kigali Convention Centre and Radisson Blu Hotel, the ceremony is just one of the many events the hotel has prepared to bring families together during this festive season.

“We have been doing festive season ceremonies since 2017 and we want to set a tradition especially for families to enjoy the festive season,” she said.

From December 13 to 15, there will be a Christmas bazaar at the hotel. On Christmas, December 25, Radisson Blu will hold a Christmas brunch. There is also a New year countdown concert on December 31 with the Congolese renowned singer and dancer Fally Ipupa and famous international DJs and local artistes.

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