Each year since 1947, a Christmas tree has been given to the people of London from the people of Norway’s capital Oslo, in gratitude for Britain’s support for Norway during Second World War and is perhaps the most important symbol of Britain and Norway’s warm relationship.
The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is usually a Norwegian spruce (Picea abies) over 20 metres high and 50-60 years old. It is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months, even years, in advance. The tree is felled in November and then brought to the UK by sea. It is decorated in traditional Norwegian style, with vertical strings of lights. Energy-efficient light bulbs are used.
The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until just before the Twelfth Night of Christmas, when it is taken down for recycling.
For many Londoners the lightning ceremony of the Norwegian Christmas tree and the carol singing in Trafalgar Square signal the countdown to Christmas. It’s a lovely Christmas event for the whole family.
The Norwegian Christmas tree will be lit on 2d of December with thousands of people expected to watch the annual ceremony. We will be there -will you?
Photo: Innovasjon Norge