If you’re already in the festive spirit it may be because Belfast is ranked the sixth-most Christmas destination in the UK – and the proof is in the pudding.
According to research by Christmas Tree World, the city spent £149,744 on Christmas decorations and light switch-ons in 2019.
That figure was beaten by Glasgow who spent £498,730, Manchester (£373,000) and Leeds (£277,413). Dundee and Bolton also spent more on their festive lighting displays.
But thanks to other factors, including annual Google searches for Christmas trees, mentions of the Christmas light switch-on date and festive hashtags, Belfast ranks sixth on the list of most festive towns and cities in the UK, excluding London. .
Manchester comes in first, with Glasgow in second, followed by Leeds, Edinburgh and Liverpool.
According to Google Ads Keyword Planner, the research found that between September 2020 and August 2021, there were 25,340 searches for Christmas trees annually.
And the number of Instagram posts mentioning Christmas celebrations in the city, such as the market, was a jolly 7,164, rivaled only by Manchester with 48,201 festive hashtags and by Edinburgh with 52,036.
It may be down to Belfast’s hugely popular Christmas market which returns on a Saturday after nearly two years.
People from all over Northern Ireland – and beyond – have flocked to Belfast City Hall to get in the holiday spirit.
Vendors come from 32 countries at city-center events, with local vendors returning as well. All are desperate to get back in action after a tough time of coronavirus-related setbacks and Brexit difficulties.
This year the festival market visit will be a bit different due to the ongoing COVID restrictions.
Its organisers, Market Place Europe, announced that starting Saturday, it will be mandatory for those entering the market to provide a COVID passport, proof of vaccination, proof of a negative COVID test or a lateral flow test done in the last 48 . hours, or evidence of a positive PCR test taken in the last 30 to 180 days.
Customers are being encouraged to wear masks and make card payments wherever possible.
But there’s still plenty of time to get into the holiday spirit and promote the celebration to local businesses.
The market will remain open till December 23, and will be open till 6 pm on Sundays, 8 pm on Monday to Wednesday and 10 pm on all other days.