Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Trafalgar Square Christimas Tree

Every year a huge Christmas tree is given to London, from the city of Oslo in Norway. This has been given since 1947, which means that this year’s Christmas tree will number 66. The tree is a gift and a token of friendship, a way of thanking for the help Norway received during WW2. The Norwegian king, Haakon VI, escaped to England when the war broke out, and the Norwegian government was set up in London. Many Norwegians escaped to Britain during the war, and great parts of the resistance movement was lead from London. 

The tree is called "The Queen Of The Forest", and it is usually a ca. 50 years old spruce, at around 20 to 30 meters high. It is cut already in November, in a ceremony attended by the Oslo mayor and the British ambassador to Norway, before it begins its long journey over the sea to Immingham in England, and from there by lorry to London. It is set up 12 days before Christmas, and that day is an important day of Christmas for many Londoners. It is a signal of the countdown to Christmas. There's carol singing, poetry performed, and the tree is decorated in a traditional Norwegian style, with hundreds of white lights. 

This sign is placed beside the Christmas tree. 

Approximately 3000 from the Norwegian military died during WW2, and in total approximately 9 500 Norwegians died during and because of the war. This is 0.32 percent of the population in 1939.
Britain, however, had 382 700 military deaths, and in total 449 800 deaths.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post about this Christmas tradition. And the tree looks very nice with all the Christmas lights! It is an interesting story and Norway did receive a lot of help from England during the war.