When do the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree 2018 lights switch on and who will perform?December 8, 2018
THE world’s most famous Christmas tree is set to be lit up in time for the holiday season.
Here’s all you need to know about when the lights will be switched on so you don’t miss out.
When will the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lights come on?
The big switch on takes place today – Thursday, December 6, 2018, at 6pm.
This will be followed by the singing of Christmas carols around the tree with the choir from St Martin-in-the-Fields.
You don’t need a ticket to watch the lighting up of the Trafalgar Square tree, but it does get really crowded so you’re advised to arrive early.
The lighting up of the famous tree marks the first in a series of Christmassy activities that will take place in Trafalgar Square.
After the tree is illuminated, it will be followed by a Blessing of the Crib service on December 9.
You can join in carol singing around the tree from December 10 until December 21, 2018.
This takes place from 4-8pm on weekdays and 2-6pm on weekends, but there is no performance on December 15.
Who will flip the switch and will anyone perform?
The tree will be lit by the Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Lindsey Hall, London’s Norwegian Ambassador Mona Juul and Mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is expected to make an appearance too.
There’ll be carol singing by The Salvation Army and the St Martin-in-the-Fields choir.
This will be followed by poetry read by local school children.
Where is the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree from?
The trees that go up in Trafalgar Square each year are from Norway, and have been gifted to London annually since 1947.
Norway has made the gesture every year as a way of showing gratitude to the British for their support during World War II.
In keeping with Norwegian tradition, the Norwegian spruce tree is decorated with vertical strings of lights, which now use energy-efficient bulbs.
The 82ft tall tree usually remains in Trafalgar Square until the Twelfth Night of Christmas – January 5 – when it is taken down and recycled.
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How is the Christmas tree brought over to London?
The tree is around 50 or 60 years old and is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months in advance.
It is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate.
The tree is then brought to the UK by sea, completing its journey by lorry.
A specialist rigging team then erects it in the square using a hydraulic crane.