21 February 2017 | 12 °C

Today Is Tree Lighting Day

By Rob Last edited 147 months ago
Today Is Tree Lighting Day
trafalgartree.jpg

Tonight at 6 o clock, a Norwegian Spruce about 23 metres high, donated by the people of Norway will be illuminated in Trafalgar Square.

The tree, presented by the Mayor of Oslo, Per Ditlev-Simonsen, is a bit of thank you gift for the hand we gave the Scandinavians during Word War II, but it's also, in Londonist's view, one of the classier Xmas decorations in the city: no corporate sponsorship, nothing flashy or fancy, just some traditional white lights and a whacking great Picea abies.

A few tree facts for you:

A special crew has to be contracted to haul the tree from the docks to Trafalgar Square.

The base of the trunk is pushed just four feet into the ground and secured with a dozen or more wooden wedges. There is no other form of support...worrying isn't it?

The floodlights of the National Gallery are specially dimmed for the ceremony.

The white lights are chosen because of Norwegian tradition (electrical bulbs being the twentieth-century equivalent of candlelight).

You can find the carol singing programme for the spot underneath the tree ("no other form of support" remember...) here.

Last Updated 30 November 2004