The 68th Oslo Tree lighting took place in Trafalgar Square on 4th December 2014. This event marks the official start of the Christmas season and the Oslo tree symbolizes the friendship and peace between England and Norway. In 1947, the City of Oslo gave the Norweigian Spruce as a gift to London as a thank you for British support during WWII. The tradition has continued ever since and will continue for years to come if, as said by a speaker of the evening, ‘they keep taking them, we will keep sending them’.
Known as the Queen of the Forest, the Oslo tree stands at 20-25 metres tall (this year the tree was 21 metres) and is between 50-60 years old. The tree is selected from forests around Oslo and cared for for months, sometimes even years prior to the big event! In November, the tree is taken down at a ceremony which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo attend.
The tree then travels by sea to England and is secured by a well-trained rigging tree in the coveted spot of Trafalgar Square. The Oslo tree is then decorated in traditional Norweigian fashion with vertical strands of 900 LED lights draping the tree and a bright star is placed on top.
The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Oslo did the honors of the switching on of the lights. St Martin in the Field choir filled the Square with traditional hymns and carols throughout the evening.
The tree will continue to light the heart of London until 6th January 2015, otherwise known as the 12th Day of Christmas.
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
Also in the area: National Portrait Gallery, Covent Garden piazza and Christmas lights, Southbank Christmas Market, Somerset House ice skating
‘Tis the season to be blogging!
❤ Kristmas Cheer