Solidere launches “Beirut Celebrates 2012”

Once again, Solidere launches “Beirut Celebrates 2012”, the end-of-year festivities that take place annually in Beirut Central District. The celebrations will kick start on December 1st at 6 pm with a sensational Christmas parade and the lighting of the famed Christmas tree in Beirut Souks, as well as the lighting of various BCD streets, buildings and landmarks that have been specially decorated for the occasion.

The Christmas Parade travelling through the Souks will be set alive by various musical marching bands, dancers, acrobats and Christmas characters lead by Santa Clause. The parade will finally reach Ajami square where the Lighting of the Christmas Tree will take place in an exceptional setting that will impress the audience. The festive events will continue to entertain BCD visitors throughout the entire month.

On December 8th 2012, the inauguration of “Magical Santa’s Village” will take place at The Venue in Souk Al Arwam with exciting new features and activities. The 1,200 square meter village has become a highly popular landmark that attracted around 50,000 visitors in 2011. The various festive activities will carry on until January 7th 2013 and will include workshops, craft works and meeting several Christmas characters. Santa and his elves will welcome children and take pictures with them.

The celebrations will be complemented with the 5th edition of “Beirut Chants”, the sacred music festival organized by Solidere. The events will begin on Saturday December 1st 2012 at 8 pm, with an exclusive performance by the Sextet of La Scala Di Milano at St. Maroun Church. This year’s lineup will showcase renowned Lebanese and International artists with a variety of performances, and will be hosting famous musicians and artists namely the Lebanese pianist Abdel El Rahman El Bacha and L’Archange et le Lys. The performances will be held in various historical BCD churches until December 25th 2012, as per the below schedule.

The Saifi Village Christmas Festivities will take place on two consecutive weekends, December 15-16 and 22-23, from 3 pm to 6 pm. The activities will include a multitude of celebratory entertainments, live music shows, children’s theater, shadow puppet shows, a Christmas parade, interactive story telling for kids and various workshops.

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Saturday 1 St. Maron Gemmayzeh | Grand Opening | Sestetto dell’Accademia della Scala di Milano 20:00

In collaboration with Istituto italiano di Cultura-Beirut

Sunday 2 St. Maron Gemmayzeh | L’Archange et le Lys | Ensemble Correspondances* 20:30

In collaboration with Institut Français

Monday 3 All Saints Church | The Lebanese School of The Blind & The Deaf Choir 20:00

Tuesday 4 St. Elie Greek Catholic Cathedral | Al ‘Ushq Al Ilahi | Rania Younes 20:00

Wednesday 5 St. Louis Capuchin | Armenian Mosaic III | Kamila & Zakar Keshishian 20:00

Thursday 6 St. Georges Orthodox Cathedral | St Romanos Choir Beirut 20:00

Friday 7 Armenian Catholic Cathedral | Etoiles de Noël | Lara Joukhadar & Marc Reaidy 20:00

Saturday 8 St. Louis Capuchin | An Evening with Beethoven | Abdel Rahman El Bacha 20:00

Sunday 9 St. Georges Maronite Cathedral | Joumana Medawar** 20:00

Monday 10 St. Elie Greek Catholic Cathedral | Byzantine Traditional Christmas | St. Stephanos the Melode Choir 20:00

Tuesday 11 St. Elie Kantari | Beirut Chants Festival Gala Concert** 20:00

Wednesday 12 ­Armenian Catholic Cathedral | Evangelical Armenian Community Choir 20:00

Thursday 13 St. Elie Greek Catholic Church | Christmas Oratorio | Ensemble De Musique Classique Arabe, direction Nidaa    Abou Mrad 20:00

Friday 14 St. Georges Orthodox Cathedral | This is our God | School of Ecclesiastic Music (SEM) with special guest  Protpsaltis Fotis Ketsetzis 20:00

Saturday 15 St. Elie Kantari | Watar wa Sawt** | Imane Homsy and Ghada Chbeir 20:00

Sunday 16 St. Georges Maronite Cathedral | Viva Verdi! | Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra with Antonine University
& Notre-Dame University Choirs conducted by Manfred Müssauer | Rima Tawil soprano 20:00

Monday 17 St. Elie Kantari | Abeer Nehme** 20:00

Tuesday 18 St. Elie Kantari | NDU Children’s Choir** 20:00

Wednesday 19 St. Maron Gemmayzeh | A Vivaldi Christmas** | Nadine Nassar & Matteo El Khodr With Antonine  University Choir 20:00

Thursday 20 St. Nichan Church | La VoixD’Antan** 20:00

Friday 21 St. Elie Kantari | Mirna Chaker 20:00

Saturday 22 National Evangelical Church | La Chanterie de Beyrouth 18:00

National Evangelical Church | Four Knights 20:30

Sunday 23 National Evangelical Church Gargatch Choir 18:00

St. Louis Capuchin Le Chant des Anges** | Samar Salamé with La Sagesse St. John choir 20:30

Monday 24

Tuesday 25 St. Elie Kantari Closing Festival Concert | Rima Tawil with Jeff Cohen & Carine Balit 20:00

* “L’Ensemble Correspondances est soutenu par la fondation Orange, la DRAC et la région Rhône-Alpes et la ville de Lyon. Il est en résidence (2011-2013) au festival musique et mémoire avec le soutien de la DRAC Franche-Comté

** Accompanied by the Beirut Chants Orchestra    ­