35th Christmas Market in Leuven
14 days of Christmas fun
from Thursday 7 through Thursday 21 December 2023
Click on the year to view the poster
1st Christmas market Leuven 1988
16/12 – 18/12
- Jean-Pol designs our poster: the beginning of a tradition!
- The press already wrote: “First Christmas market in Leuven: the start of a long tradition”, “Christmas market Leuven entices the masses”, “3 days of partying at Christmas market"
- In the light of the construction works of Parking Ladeuze we are anticipating their completion.
2nd Christmas market Leuven 1989
14/12 – 17/12
- The Good Cause: SOS Christmas Gift with occasional concerts by Wouter Vandenhoute, Kurt Van Eeghem, Walter Grootaers & Ben Crabbé.
- 90 stalls, doubling the number of the first edition!
3rd Christmas market Leuven 1990
13/12 – 16/12
- Muco Sportivo, with the late Ann Petersen as patron
- The mirror tent kind of functioned as a VIP tent
- 140 stands
- Michel Follet sells his braces to the highest bidder for 6.900 BEF, Jean-Pol raises 9100 BEF selling a fragment of his poster
- We had a 'kiss bridge' for the first time.
4th Christmas market Leuven 1991
12/12 – 15/12
- Autism, break the silence! Stef Bos & Bob Savenberg launch the action!
- Jo Ropcke act as patron.
- We try the out the prestige tent…
- Clouseau, Mama’s Jasje, De Kreuners, Isabella A, & Luc Steeno contribute their part.
5th Christmas market Leuven 1992
10/12 – 13/12
- Zamu, with Johan Verminnen as patron
- An estimate of 80.000 visitors attend
- Soulsister & Mama’s Jasje are two of many guests …
6th Christmas market Leuven 1993
8/12 – 12/12
- The Romanian village adopted by the town of Leuven as well as refugees of camp Roska are the focus of our charity this year, under the patronage of the late Armand Pien.
- Walter Grootaers, Bart Herman, Bart Kaëll & Felice come and support us.
7th Christmas market Leuven 1994
7/12 – 11/12
- Belgian MS league patroned by Paul Michiels
- The familiar mirror tent disappears to make room for a crafts market.
- Dana Winner, Bart Herman & Pop in Wonderland are our guests. Co-founder of our Christmas market, Anne-Marie Smout, sadly, is one of the victims of the Switel fire on 31/12.
8th Christmas market Leuven 1995
13/12 – 17/12
- On behalf of the Friends' Circle of Kidney Patients.
- Patron is Willy Sommers (although he never shows up)
- We join forces with the police to scare off pickpockets.
- Performances by Bart Herman, Sha-Na, Wendy Van Wanten, Koen Wauters, Big MMM’s.
- The Christmas Club is born!
9th Christmas market Leuven 1996
11/12 – 15/12
- National help for the severely burnt as well as a candle sale for the victim of a work accident during the construction of the Brabanthal.
- Koen Wouters is our new patron.
- We welcome Dobbel Palm with its horse tram. Exposition of Christmas cribs.
- Paul Michiels, Walter Grootaers, Isabella A, Luc Stenoo & Garry Hagger perform and the first website of the Christmas market goes online.
10th Christmas market Leuven 1997
10/12 – 14/12
- The Price Laurent Foundation is our Good Cause.
- Previous patrons and matrons are our guests of honor and Marlène de Wauters is this year's godmother. We are going down a new path with Leuven Christmas village.
11th Christmas market Leuven 1998
9/12 – 13/12
- We still call ourselves Leuven Christmas village.
- Peter Van Laet patrons this 11th edition.
- Solidarity on behalf of Young Responsible Drivers
- The Christmas market copes with a severe storm with winds up to 130 kph. On Thursday, we open a bit later, but there is no damage anywhere.
12th Christmas market Leuven 1999
8/12 – 12/12
- Leuven for Life: the umbilical cord blood bank.
- Felice is our patron; the organization gets a new board of directors.
- On Grote Markt there is a big Christmas stall with live animals.
- Performances by Sofie & Paul Michiels, Sarah, Voice Male, Peter Van Laet
13th Christmas market Leuven 2000
13/12 – 17/12
- Battle against Cystic Fibrosis.
- Patron: Michel Follet.
- Over 300.000 visitors.
- Driving rain throughout the entire Christmas market.
14th Christmas market Leuven 2001
12/12 – 16/12
- ALS is our Good Cause
- Rob Vanoudenhoven accepts patronage.
- We try out childcare.
- Barbara Dex, Raf Vanbrussel & Scala are our guests.
15th Christmas market Leuven 2002
11/12 – 15/12
- Our first Christmas single is a fact, sung by Yasmine - our matron -, Peter Van Laet en Milc Inc.
- Yield on behalf of the Children's Hospital: €25.000
- It was a cold yet dry Christmas market.
16th Christmas market Leuven 2003
10/12 – 14/12
- Jean-Pol, our patron draws a Christmas comic strip on behalf of the Centre for Developmental Disorders.
- Leuven sings again... but now at the Christmas market.
- Father Christmas dropped by with his "Dream Machine" and Ice Palace.
- Leuven's ice sculptures melt away.
17th Christmas market Leuven 2004
8/12 – 12/12
- Panal: Dying... no child's play.
- Sergio sings the Christmas single.
- Performances by Bart Kaëll, Eddy Wally, Nicole & Hugo and Wendy Van Wanten.
- The Kiss Bridge pops up again.
18th Christmas market Leuven 2005
14/12 – 18/12
- MS League Ladeuze sells Christmas balls with Boma moustache… so Marijn Devalck is our patron!
- Shows by Brahim, Wouter, Johnny Voners & Laura Lynn
- The number of crafts stalls grows.
19th Christmas market Leuven 2006
13/12 – 17/12
- Revolves around NBC, National Burn Camp.
- Matron is Wendy Van Wanten (… and Franske joins her everywhere).
- Performances by Udo, Eddy Wally, Wim Soutaer & Wendy Van Wanten.
20th Christmas market Leuven 2007
10 days !
- Themed around the Children's hospital of UZ Leuven, patroned by Jean-Marie Pfaff
- Shows by Nicole & Hugo and many others
21st Christmas market Leuven 2008
12/12 – 21/12
- ALS (ALS Liga Leuven) is the Good Cause
- Matron is 'Marianne Bastiaans' (well known from the television soap Thuis (… and all actors pay a visit...)
- Shows by Nicole & Hugo, Wim Soutaer and Sam Goris. We welcomed 500.000 visitors due to the dry cold weather!!
22nd Christmas market Leuven 2009
11/12 – 20/12
- Themed around the Children's hospital of UZ Leuven
- Patron is Jan Van Rompaey who regularly drops by.
- We had just under 500.000 visitors... but we write history due to heavy snowfall covering the Christmas market in a white coat... with frost as cold as -10°C.
23rd Christmas market Leuven 2010
10/12 – 19/12
- Our charity is the Sister Jeanne Devos Fund.
- Patron is Prof Peter Adriaenssens who regularly drops by.
- We just made 500.000 visitors. And almost 10 days of snow add to a cozy Christmas atmosphere. The new set-up hit the bull's eye, creating a real “wow”-effect.
- Shows by The Scabs, Paul Michiels and Mama's Jasje.
24th Christmas market Leuven 2011
9/12 – 18/12
- Under the sign of the Rondou fund for Duchenne research.
- Matron and patron are Nicole & Hugo
25th Christmas market Leuven 2012
12/12/12 - 23/12/12
- The newest Winter hype CURLING makes its entry with an inter country tournament won by Luxembourg.
- Good Cause is Make-A-Wish patroned by Kris Wauters
- A strong start followed by a rainy final week... with a bigger than ever turnout!
26th Christmas market Leuven 2013
12/12/13 - 22/12/13
- More than 800.000 visitors! Super yield for charity: €36.000 plus.
- Patron Jef Desmedt drops by nearly every day, while matron Janine Bisschops falls ill.
- The weather gods were more than favorable with dry weather throughout.
27th Christmas market Leuven 2014
11/12/14 - 21/12/14
- More than 500.000 visitors despite enormously bad rainy and windy weather conditions.
- The shuttle bus from Arenberg parking lot is a novelty.
- Patrons Lieven Van Gils and Kathleen Cools collected €35.000 for charity.
28th Christmas market Leuven 2015
9/12/15 - 20/12/15
- No Winter weather... but a soft and gentle Winter period. The first year with fear of terror, yet a turnout of 600.000 visitors and very good sales figures!
- Eddy Merckx patrons our charity: "A Heart for Christmas", yielding more than €35.000. Sadly though, our patron never visited.
29th Christmas market Leuven 2016
8/12/16 - 21/12/16
- Extra-long, extra big. The Provence came to visit. With a fortnight of dry weather, the weather gods as well appeared to be coming from the South.
- Patrons Gene Thomas & Luc Haekens stood firm for the Good Cause, a play-roof-terrace for the new children's hospital.
- The new circulation plan within the town of Leuven made organizing the Christmas market a bit more challenging.
30th Christmas market Leuven 2017
7/12/17 - 20/12/17
- Forced relocation to the city park due to layout works on the Hoover Square. A fairy tale like atmosphere almost ruined by the weather gods who were quite against us.
- Our sponsor, the Flemish singer and actor Stan Van Samang, ready to support our good cause, the Transplantous funds.
- The Ladeuze Square welcomes for the first time a skating rink, a Christmas tree carousel and a big wheel.
31th Christmas market Leuven 2018
12/12/18 - 23/12/18
- Back to the familiar location of the H.Hooverplein and the Mgr.Ladeuzeplein
- New concept, new stands, new layout
- Our godfather Marc De Bel is committed to the charity: Hippo & Friends, for diabetis type 1
- Paul Severs gives us for the last time a great performance (1948-2019)
32th Christmas market Leuven 2019
12/12/19 - 23/12/19
- Santa moves with his forest to the magical Hooverplein
- Rain and wind did not keep the visitors at home and we were able to clock in on more than 500000 visitors.
- Lumos, the charity was well supported by the godparents Steph Goossens and Rudy Vranckx.
33th Christmas market Leuven 2020
- Corona strikes hard again.
- No events or markets are allowed to take place in 2020.
- A year to be quickly forgotten.
- Corona continues to strike hard
- Again no markets or events are authorized to be organized end 2021
34th Christmas market Leuven 2022
7/12/22 - 18/12/22
- After two years, it can happen again: the 34th edition is presented as usual for 12 days of conviviality and end-of-year atmosphere.
- More than 600,000 visitors came to the centre of Leuven, partly thanks to the excellent dry and cold winter weather.
- The action for the benefit of the Inloophuis raised € 33,580, with Jeroen Meus as the sponsor.