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Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree, Flickr: Mike_Fleming

Trafalgar Square

The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is the name for the famous Christmas tree donated to the people of London by the city of Oslo each year since 1947.   The tree is prominently displayed in Trafalgar Square during the Christmas season.

Since 1947, the city of Oslo, Norway has donated a Christmas tree each year to the people of London as a show of gratitude for Britain's assistance to Norway during World War Two. The tree given is usually a Norway spruce more than 70 feet tall and over 50 years old. The tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian style with 500 white lights. At the tree's base is a plaque which 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. A tree has been given annually since 1947.

The massive Christmas tree goes on display at Trafalgar Square in November and stays there until the Twelfth Night of Christmas (January 5th).

This year, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on the 1st of December at 6.30 p.m. The ceremony will be preceded by a carol service at nearby St Martin-in-the-Fields church. The lights will then remain on from noon to midnight every day until the tree is taken down and recycled. As in years past, the lighting ceremony will be attended by the British Ambassador to Norway, the mayor of Oslo and the Lord Mayor of Westminster (the London borough where Trafalgar Square is located). During the ceremony and throughout the Christmas period, different groups will perform Christmas carols at the square to raise money for a variety of charities. On Sunday the 6th of December, a dedication service for the nativity scene at St Martin-in-the-Fields will take place and will include a torch-lit procession from the church to Trafalgar Square.

With historic St Martin-in-the-Fields so close, as well as the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, Covent Garden, Chinatown, Leicester Square and a range of other attractions, shops, hotels and restaurants, the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree is yet one more excellent reason to book flights to London during the holidays. And with the commemorative Nelson's Column with its four lions guarding its base, and its other statues and art.

Trafalgar Square is also the default location for London's New Year's Eve celebrations providing a great base for taking in the beauty of the Norwegian tree as well as the city's annual fireworks display.


Photo: Mike_Fleming

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