The Christmas lights may indeed be brightening the streets, and the shops brimming with festive gifts, but the season doesn’t truly begin in the capital until the first Thursday in December, when the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is ceremoniously lit.
(Photo courtesy of Donna_Rutherford on Flickr)
Since 1947, the city of Oslo has donated a beautiful tree to the people of London as a token of thanks for the British support of Norway during the Second World War. Typically, the Trafalgar Square tree is a 50 to 60 year-old Norwegian spruce and measures at over 20 metres tall. This year, the spruce hails from the forest of Østmarka, just outside Oslo, and will have made the historic journey across the North Sea to Immingham by cargo ship.
The tree is decorated in a traditional Norwegian style, with over 500 dazzling white lights adorning the branches. Crowds will gather this Thursday, 1st December, to listen to Christmas carols sung by a renowned English choir and watch the memorable lighting ceremony, led by the Mayor of Westminster.
Be sure to fit in a visit to Trafalgar Square before the tree is taken down on the Twelfth Night of Christmas (5th January)!