Wednesday 27 January 2021

Amsterdam officials draw up new rules for Christmas decorations

Christmas lights in Amsterdam. Photo:

Amsterdammers who want to decorate the outside of their homes with Christmas lighting may have to report their plans to the city council from next year.

Officials want to introduce new rules to cover Christmas decorations for the whole city, with even stricter measures in the centre to do justice to the district’s distinctive architecture.

If passed by the council, the plans would require everyone wanting to hang up more than one square metre of lights – or cover more than 10% of the front of their home with decorations – to register with the city at least 72 hours in advance.

Lights can be led only and will have to be switched off between midnight and 6am. In the city centre, lights should be 90% ‘warm white’ and follow the contours of buildings closely.

City officials say the new rules are necessary because more and more households are using outdoor decorations, leaving the lights on overnight is wasting energy and ‘to ensure a good balance between calm streets and public lighting and decorations’.

At the moment, shopkeepers who want to use decorations which are ‘highly visible’ from a public road are supposed to ask for a permit. That requirement will be scrapped when the new rules are introduced.

A definite decision will be taken in the New Year.

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