On Sunday, November 27 at 4:00 PM, the Oslo Christmas tree will be lit up with lights in Austurvöllur Square.
For decades, this event was considered the beginning of the Christmas season. The tradition began in 1951 when Norway sent a Christmas tree from its capital Oslo to Iceland as a sign of friendship between the two nations. Over time, however, the two countries realised that the carbon footprint left behind from this symbolic act – which involved loading the tree onto a ship and sailing through the North Atlantic – was too great. The Christmas trees now grow in a special grove in Heiðmörk just outside Reykjavík.
Families gather in Austurvöllur Square to see the Christmas tree lit up with lights and decorations by Styrktarfélag, the Foundation for the Paralyzed and Disabled.
The tree is always lit on the first Sunday of Advent, which this year, is November 27. There promises to be hot chocolate and coffee, music, a yule lad or two, and plenty of festive cheer. And, of course, a huge Christmas tree.