The 2019 Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place on Thursday 5 December.
The tree is an annual gift from the people of Oslo, Norway, as a thank you to the city for Britain’s help in the Second World War. Thousands of people are expected to come to Westminster to see the ceremony – which for many Londoners is the unofficial start to the capital’s festivities.
Once again, the Lord Mayor of Westminster will host the Mayor of Oslo and Norwegian dignitaries for the switch on – which gets under way at 6pm.
The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Councillor Ruth Bush, said:
“It is one of the highlights for every Lord Mayor to take part in this great festive event celebrating the enduring friendship between our nations. We should never forget the bonds that this tree represents which go beyond tradition or sentimentality.”
The tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian style of simple straight lines of white lights.
There will be carols from the Salvation Army band and St Martin-in-the-Fields choir.
Every day from 9 December until Christmas Eve there will be carols sung beneath the tree, with more than 50 groups taking part. Performances will take place from 4pm to 8pm at weekdays, and 2pm to 6pm at weekends.
Christmas fans can follow the tree’s journey from Norway to London on the official Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Twitter account @Trafalgartree.
Each day followers can learn little known facts about this year’s chosen fir, the history of the tradition and events going on around Westminster in the run up to the big day.
And this year we want people to send us their Trafalgar selfie with the hashtag #trafalgarselfie featuring the Trafalgar Square Tree which we will feature on our social media channels.
We also want to see your Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree photos from years past. Just sent your snap to @Trafalgartree with your names and the year it was taken.
The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until Twelfth Night, when it is taken down for recycling. The tree is chipped and composted, to make mulch.