Norwegian Christmas tree in London

11 Dec

Every year the city of Oslo gives the people of London a Christmas tree. The tree is put up in Trafalgar Square 12 days before Christmas and the mayor of Oslo always turns on the lights. This has been a tradition from 1947 when Norway shipped the first tree. The tree is a symbol of gratitude and a way to show that we appreciated all the British support we got during World War two.

The tree is a symbol of the close friendship between England and Norway. After Norway had been invaded by the Germans forces in 1940 our King at the time, King Haakon VII escaped to Britain. The Norwegian government-in-exile was set up in London. The BBC relayed news in Norwegian during the war and this became vital to the resistance forces. 3000 from the Norwegian military died during this war, and in total approximately 11 000 were killed. From Britain however they had 382, 700 military deaths and in total they lost 449 800 persons during the war.

The Christmas tree is called “The Queen of the forest” and is carefully picked out every year. It’s usually about 20 or 30 meters high and is decorated with lights. The tree lighting ceremony in Trafalgar Square always takes place at the first Thursday in December. The ceremony is led by the Lord Mayor of Westminster and a choir sings when they turn on the lights.

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One Response to “Norwegian Christmas tree in London”

  1. Ann S. Michaelsen 13/12/2012 at 12:45 #

    Interesting post about the Christmas tree. Nice fact to mention that the Norwegian resistance were listening to BBC.

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