The 5 best Glasgow Christmas Decorations
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The Scots word “Yule” alludes to a pagan celebration around the time of the winter solstice. Traditionally, Yule didn’t refer just to Christmas Day but to the twelve days of the earlier festival.

Christmas in Scotland was a religious feasting day celebrated in a way similar to much of Europe until the Reformation in 1560. From that moment on, it was not favourably viewed anymore because of its perceived association with the Roman Catholic Church. A 1640 Act of the Parliament of Scotland made the celebration of “Yule vacations” illegal.

Despite the repealing of the Act in 1686, Christmas celebrations were fairly low key. It didn’t even become a public holiday until 1958. As a result, most if not all Christmas celebrations that we can enjoy nowadays in Glasgow have been brought in from other cultures, especially from England and the United States, although Scots have some interesting Christmas traditions of our own.

House of Fraser has a long and distinguished history. It was founded in 1849, when partners Hugh Fraser and James Arthur opened a small drapery shop on the corner of Argyle Street and Buchanan Street in Glasgow.

House of Fraser is currently the third largest group of traditional department stores in the UK with 60 stores, sited in a mixture of town and city centre and regional shopping centre locations.

In Glasgow, Fraser´s is situated from 21 to 61 of Buchanan Street and comprises five buildings of which the southern four were Victorian department stores.

Pin  House of Fraser was founded here.

Admire the Argyll Arcade

ARGYLL ARCADE | 2018-2019 Glasgow Christmas Decoration Silver Winner

Designed by John Baird and built in 1827, the Argyll Arcade provides a link between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street and was designed in the Parisian-style and early Victorian architecture with a glass roof.

This L-shaped arcade is one of Europe’s oldest covered shopping arcades, and Scotland’s first ever indoor shopping mall, nowadays mainly containing jewellers.

Pin  One of Europe’s oldest covered shopping arcades.

Appreciate Princes Square

PRINCES SQUARE | 2018-2019 Glasgow Christmas Decoration Bronze Winner

Princes Square is located on Buchanan Street in Glasgow. The original buildings consisted of a 4 storey merchant square built in yellow sandstone, and were designed and built in 1841 by John Baird and other architects. The original fabric has been protected as a category B listed building since 1970.

The then owner, James Campbell, in celebration of the birth of the Prince of Wales, who later became Edward VII, named his new building Princes Square.

The Hugh Martin Partnership, who were the architects who reconfigured and extended the space to turn it into an iconic shopping centre in 1987, have won numerous awards for their renovation.

Pin  Numerous awards for their renovation.

Discover St.Enoch Centre

ST. ENOCH CENTRE | 2018-2019 Glasgow Christmas Decoration Fourth Winner

Built between 1986 and 1989 by GMW Architects and Sir Robert McAlpine, the St. Enoch Centre is a shopping mall located adjacent to St Enoch Square and Argyle Street.

The building replaced St Enoch station, that was the mainline railway station in the city of Glasgow between 1876 and 1966 and was demolished in 1977.

The shopping centre has undergone two major refurbishments in 2001 and 2010, and is impressive for its massive glass roof, which makes it the largest glass-covered enclosed area in Europe and strongly reduces heating and lighting costs.

Pin  Massive glass roof.

Go to George Square

GEORGE SQUARE | 2018-2019 Glasgow Christmas Decoration Fifth Winner

George Square is named after King George III. It is the principal urban square in Glasgow and has been the acknowledged centre of the city’s public life for centuries.

Built in 1781 as part of the innovative Georgian central grid system, during its first few years it was a dirty place used for slaughtering horses, but in the 1820s the square was eventually opened up and lined with Georgian townhouses at its East and West ends.

George Square is today home to the headquarters of Glasgow City Council, and boasts an important collection of statues and monuments.

Pin  The centre of the city’s public life for centuries.

At the beginning of the 19th century Christmas was hardly celebrated in the UK, but in 1848 the Illustrated London News published a drawing of the royal family celebrating around a decorated Christmas tree, a tradition that was reminiscent of Prince Albert’s childhood in Germany. Soon every home in Britain had a decorated tree.


Glasgow Christmas

Cool Facts

The Quote

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!

Charles Dickens. English writer (1812-1870).


Greatest Glasgow Awards

Technical Criteria

Research led by SUZANNAH HENDERSON ׀
Date of the Research: 27-12 DECEMBER 2018 ׀
Publication date: 17 DECEMBER 2018
Review date: 10 DECEMBER 2019

Scope of the research & essential inclusion criteria:
Christmas themed.Large-scale set of decorations.Set in 2018.Public space.
Premium+ criteria:

1 Beauty of the ornaments.
2 Ornamental complexity.
3 Integration between set elements.
4 Integration into surroundings.
5 Improvements from the previous year.

6 Originality.
7 Size.
8 Estimated daily visitors.
9 Friendly surroundings.

Premium Validation criteria:

10 Difficulty of being seen at day.
11 Difficulty of being seen at night.
12 360 Degree views.

13 Number of elements.
14 Duration (days set).
15 Other features.

Additional information about the VPP+ process:     VPP+