New edition of Brussels By Lights has started and it offers visitors a unique tour of the illuminations in the city center. The 11th edition brings a novelty – a chance to discover the city through a five-kilometer geocaching treasure hunt starting at Boulevard Anspach 65 (junction between the pedestrian precinct and Rue du Marché aux Poulets), under the benevolent gaze of a giant cat called Eikosis.
What is Eikosis and how to take part in the “phygital” journey?
Some readers might rightly wonder what terms such as “geocaching” or “phygital” mean? The concept is becoming increasingly popular as a way of using technology to bridge the digital world with the physical world and providing a unique interactive experiences. That is exactly what visitors & locals will be able to experience in the city centre of Brussels during this festive season. Eikosis combines digital art and light sculptures in a geocaching tour of the heart of the city. The game consists of finding mini-Eikosis (small luminous cats) hidden all along the route via an application that can be downloaded onto your smartphone, with the big Eikosi cat serving as a starting point.
Two ten-stage routes are available: UP and DOWN (only accessible after completing the UP route). The various stages are interspersed with anecdotes, quizzes, and games. Intuitive mapping also means participants can access promotional offers from partner retailers all along the route. This will allow visitors to discover the illuminations in the shopping districts from an innovative and captivating 3.0 perspective, as well as discover the shops that have been awarded the Brussels Shopping Label.
But this is not all, players who join this fun game adventure will also benefit from special offers from different merchants & local businesses, and have a chance to win various rewards such as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT), miniature sculptures, and much more.
The route of this fun 3.0 experience is divided into 2 trails:
- Route A of 10 stages (Grand-Place zone) – 75 min – 2 km
- Departure: Big cat – boulevard Anspach 65 / Arrival Grand-Place
- The short version is ideal for those with little time or for families with children. It can be completed independently or later with route B.
- Route B consists of 10 stages (Marolles zone) – 90 min – 3 km
- Departure from Place Agora/Arrival at Place de la Vieille Halle aux Blés (available only after validation of route A)
- The complete experience is for the most intrepid, with the option of continuing directly after route A to immerse yourself in the full adventure in one go.
- Each route lasts around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Participants who complete the first, second, or both routes and achieve the highest scores will be rewarded with Eikosi mini-sculptures, cat NFTs, and other commercial offers (valid for six months after the end of the game) via a prize draw.
How the route works:
- The Big Eikosis (Boulevard Anspach 65) is the starting point. This luminous sculpture serves as a guide to the experience. Simply scan the QR code to download the route application and start the game.
- The stages: Follow the instructions of the application and the GPS of your smartphone to find the 20 luminous mini-cats hidden around the city.
- Validation of stages: At each stage, discover a mini-Eikosi in 3D or 2D. Move close to it to access the content and scan the nearby QR code to confirm your progress.
- Orientation: The application guides you to each stage with its GPS and map. Information totems are also strategically placed to guide you.
- End: A special sequence brings the game to a close at the end of each level. Detailed instructions will be provided on how to use earned rewards, access retail offers, and claim bigger prizes if you are eligible.
From November 22 to December 31, 2023, from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Brussels By Lights, the end-of-year event of the City of Brussels which highlights its different shopping districts, once again surprises its many visitors, with new new features and new neighborhoods highlighted.
Want to go beyond? Apart from the city center and central boulevards, visitors can enjoy Brussels By Lights in different neighbourhoods of Laeken, Haren and Neder-Over-Heembeek which got their new light decorations for this festive season.