The tradition continues: Oslo sends 23-meters-high Christmas tree to London

Trafalgar Square Christmas TreeOslo.Trafalgar Square Christmas TreePhoto: Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB
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This year’s Christmas tree that will be sent from Oslo to London was felled on Tuesday in Maridalen. The journey to Trafalgar Square begins today, as a “thank you” to the British for help during the war.

This year’s Christmas tree cutting took place in secret.

Those present were Oslo mayor Marianne Borgen (SV), the British ambassador to Norway Richard Wood, and three students from Maridalen school – in addition to forest workers and journalists.

After the mayor, ambassador, and students all helped saw the tree, the 2-ton tree ended on the ground – with a little help from forest workers and a chainsaw.

All the secrecy is due to the fact that large crowds could not gather this year for the traditional event due to the coronavirus situation.

Usually, this occasion attracts several school classes, guests, and other spectators.

An ordinary spruce

This year’s Christmas tree is of the type Picea abies, an ordinary Norwegian spruce.

Before being felled, the 80-year-old tree protruded 23 meters above the ground.

Now the tree’s journey to Trafalgar Square begins.

This will be the 74th tree that the people of Oslo will gift to the inhabitants of London.

Ever since 1947, Oslo Municipality has given Londoners a Christmas tree.

The tradition began as a “thank you” to the people of London for their help and support during World War II.

Dark time in the history of Europe

“The tradition comes from a dark time in Europe’s history, where Norway and Great Britain fought together against tyranny.

“We are now fighting together against the coronavirus and for international cooperation,” Ambassador Richard Wood said.

“So, the Christmas tree is not only a symbol of our shared history, but also our lasting relationship, and I am sure that the people of London will appreciate it especially this year,” he added.

Given with a lot of love

Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen believes that the significance of the gift has increased during the 75 years that have passed since the end of the war.

“The tree is a symbol that we need each other and must be there for each other.

“Now more than ever we need a bright spot and a reminder that we stand together.

“The gift to the people of London has been chosen and given with much love and much care.

“I hope it is accepted as a symbol of friendship, hope, and peace,” she noted.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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