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Story of the Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square

BY Boon Koh
Published 22 December 2010

Next week, I’ll be in New York to see the famous Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller Centre. But this week, I was passing through Trafalgar Square and saw our own famous Christmas tree, which is donated every year by the Norwegians.

So why do we have a tree from Norway every year? The city of Oslo has gifted a traditional pine tree every year since 1947, shortly after the end of the Second World War. This year, the Norwegian Spruce was from a forest near Oslo, and is 20 meters high and over a hundred years old. With over 500 Christmas lights this year, it is quite a sight!

The Christmas Tree from Oslo has been an annual gift, as a token of gratitude for British help and support for Norway during the Second World War. The tree attracted some controversy a few weeks ago, when student protesters (over the tuition fee rise) tried to set fire to the tree when they were protesting (and rioting) in Trafalgar Square.

The tree is erected and unveiled by the Norwegian Ambassador to London on the first Thursday of each December, and this year will remain up until the 5th January… so if you haven’t seen it yet, do go have a visit, if only for a few minutes! You might even catch one of the carol singing or activities (Christmas market?) happening over Christmas at Trafalgar Square around the tree.


  • http://londoniscool.com William K Wallace

    The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree sure has got a nice story to it and it is good to see that it has continued for so many years.