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Christmas is coming to Trafalgar Square with the arrival of the Oslo Christmas Tree

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Trafalgar Square Christmas tree with lights

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree 2020

Published: 18 November 2021

The much-loved Christmas Tree from Oslo will be arriving back in Trafalgar Square next month, and will see the return of the hugely popular tree lighting ceremony, to officially mark the start of Christmas.

The Oslo Christmas Tree will be lit on Thursday 2nd December in Trafalgar Square, and will be the first, in-person tree lighting up ceremony in two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, after last year’s successful virtual ceremony. 

This lighting up ceremony will include speeches from the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Oslo, performances from the Salvation Army, the Poetry Society and the The Choir of St Martin-in-the-Fields and readings from young ambassadors from Westminster Befriend a Family.

The Lord Mayors of Westminster and Oslo cutting down the Christmas Tree

The tree, a gift from the people of Norway as a thank you for the United Kingdom’s support to Norway during the Second World War, was cut down on Tuesday 16th November in the traditional tree felling ceremony in the forest outside of Oslo.

The tree felling ceremony was attended by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Andrew Smith who helped cut down the tree, along with the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen and school children from Manglerud School and Ellingsrudåsen School.

The tree, which is 24 metres high and around 80 years old, is generally thought of as the ‘nation’s Christmas Tree’ and is a symbol of enduring friendship and international co-operation with Norway.

Once the tree arrives in London, it is installed and decorated with Christmas lights – and this symbolism is reflected in the way the tree is chosen and decorated, which is in a traditional Norwegian manner. 

The Lord Mayor Of Westminster, Cllr Andrew Smith said:

“I want to thank our friends in Oslo for their gift of this Christmas Tree and the continuation of this long-held, collaborative tradition which represents history, friendship and hope.

“It’s a huge privilege to welcome the tree back to Trafalgar Square, and I look forward to hosting a brilliant tree lighting ceremony that’s back with a bang, having had a year off due to Covid-19.

“I hope this Christmas Tree will bring visitors back to our vibrant city and will be something people can visit and enjoy in the lead up to the festive period.”

  • The Trafalgar Christmas tree has its own Twitter account. To find out the latest updates on the tree, please follow @trafalgartree.
  • Each year, a Norwegian spruce is sent to Trafalgar Square for the Christmas period. The tree is shipped by the Norwegian authorities, including the Mayor of Oslo’s Office.
  • The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree ceremony is organised by the Lord Mayors Office at Westminster City Council and is funded by Westminster City Council. Other partners involved include the Mayor of Oslo, the Norwegian Embassy in London and the Greater London Authority.