Belgian man decks out his garden with 25,000 Christmas lights

Serge Hennebel, nicknamed “Elf Serge”, and a man dressed as Santa Claus (Father Christmas) interact with children in a hut in Hennebel’s garden, which has been transformed into a Christmas village and adorned with hundreds of lights, in Hamme-Mille, Belgium December 7, 2019 REUTERS/Yves Herman

HAMME-MILLE, Belgium (Reuters) – The Belgian village of Hamme-Mille became Christmas central on Saturday when “Elf Serge” turned on more than 25,000 lights in his garden.

The display by the Belgian aeronautical engineer, known as Serge Hennebel outside the festive season, brings visitors from across the world to his small garden, some 15 km from Brussels.

“There is a guest book full of nice comments from visitors from all over the world, Japan, USA, Canada, Brazil …,” Hennebel, who has been putting on the huge display for a decade, told Reuters.

There is a giant tree and 15 people act as “elves”. In 2013 he installed a train to tour the garden. Santa himself presided over a wedding there in 2017.

Hennebel’s winter wonderland also features an uniquely Belgian touch with decorations such as a festively dressed Manneken Pis, the Brussels statue of a peeing boy.

Reporting by Jonas Ekblom and Yves Herman; Writing by Jonas Ekblom; Editing by Alison Williams

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