The lighting ceremony of the Bergen Christmas tree in the town of Newcastle will take place today. Sending Norwegian Christmas trees across the sea to the UK is not a new tradition—it started already in 1947.
For the 69th time, the city of Bergen donates a Christmas tree to the city of Newcastle this year. The lighting ceremony will take place tonight at 18:00. Sending Norwegian Christmas trees across the sea is an old tradition, and many Norwegian trees have already been illuminated across the United Kingdom.
The Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square in London is perhaps the most famous Norwegian donation. This year, it will be lit in the evening of Thursday Dec 7. The spruces trees represent the close relationship between Norway and the UK.
During World War II, King Haakon VII escaped to England as the Germans invaded Norway in 1940. The government headquarters was set up in London where the news of the war was broadcasted in Norwegian, along with information that was vital to the resistance movement in Norway.
The Norwegian Christmas trees are symbols of the Norwegian gratitude towards the United Kingdom. Here is a list of the cities with Norwegian Christmas spruces this year:
Edinburgh, The Mound
A traditional Christmas tree has been given to the city of Edinburgh from Hordaland County Council for over 30 years. The tree was lit on November 19.
Grimsby, Grimsby Town Centre
Every year, a spruce from the residents of Sortland in Northern Norway arrives in the port town of Grimsby, travelling more than 3,500 km from across the North Sea. This is the 13th tree in line. The illumination ceremony took place on November 23.
Aberdeen, Union Street
Stavanger sends a Christmas tree to Aberdeen every year. This is a symbol of the close ties across the North Sea between Scotland and Norway. The tree was lit on November 23.
Newcastle, Newcastle Civic Centre
For the 69th time, the city of Bergen donates a Christmas tree to the city of Newcastle this year. The lighting ceremony will take place November 30.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London
On December 4, The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ine Eriksen Søreide will give a Norwegian Christmas spruce to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). This is the second year a Norwegian tree will decorate FCO through the advent season, symbolising a strong diplomatic bond between the two nations.
London, Trafalgar Square
The magnificent Norwegian Christmas spruce on Trafalgar Square has been gifted since 1947, and the illumination ceremony has come to signify the beginning of the Christmas season in the heart of the British capital. The lighting ceremony of the Christmas tree from the city of Oslo will take place on Thursday 7 December this year.
Orkney Islands, St Magnus Cathedral
As one of the most historic sites of Norse influence in the UK, Orkney, receives two Christmas trees from Norway. One as a gift from Hordaland County and the other from the Fjære Historical Society from the city of Grimstad. This has been a tradition since the 1980’s. The tree from Hordaland County will stand by the St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and the other spruce will be placed inside the Cathedral. The lighting ceremony will take place on the weekend December 9 and 10.
All information from The Royal Norwegian Embassy in the UK.