Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Trafalgar Square: Christmas Tree

London The Unfinished City
Merry Christmas, from the Unfinished City.

Christmas time in the Unfinished City only truly begins when the Christmas Tree is lit, in Trafalgar Square. It is a tradition that has been going on since 1947.

Brief History

The people of Norway have gifted a Norway Spruce to the people of London for their help during World War II.

The tree is a Norway Spruce, over 20 metres tall and is usually 50 to 60 years old. The tree is cut down in November, in the presence of the British Ambassador to Norway, the Mayor of Oslo and the Lord Mayor of Westminster. It is then shipped to the UK, across the North Sea.

It is adorned in the traditional Norwegian style with 500 white light bulbs, which, since 2008, have been low-wattage halogen bulbs.

The tree is lit during a ceremony, on the first Thursday in December, which is led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, a band and choir.

At the base of the tree a plaque reads...

"This tree is given by the city of Oslo as a token of Norwegian gratitude to the people of London for their assistance during the years 1940-45."

The ceremony is attended by thousands of people and draws many more visitors, until the tree is finally taken down on January 6th, when it is chipped and composted to make mulch.

Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year.

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