Yuletide revellers eagerly anticipating the traditional arrival of Norway’s Christmas tree gift are being invited to follow its journey to Trafalgar Square via Twitter.
The 2019 lighting ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 5 from 5.30pm, but ahead of that, the tree’s journey from Norway to London is being logged via the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Twitter account @Trafalgartree.
Each day followers can learn little known facts about this year’s chosen fir, the history of the tradition and events going on around Westminster in the run-up to the big day.
The tree is an annual gift from the people of Oslo, Norway, as a thank-you to the city for Britain’s help in the Second World War.
Thousands of people are expected to come to Westminster to see the ceremony – which for many Londoners is the unofficial start to the capital’s festivities.
Once again the Lord Mayor of Westminster Councillor Ruth Bush will host the Mayor of Oslo and Norwegian dignitaries for the switch-on – which gets under way at 6pm.
Cllr Bush said: “It is one of the highlights for every Lord Mayor to take part in this great festive event celebrating the enduring friendship between our nations.
“We should never forget the bonds that this tree represents which go beyond tradition or sentimentality.”
The tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian style of simple straight lines of white lights.
There will be carols from the Salvation Army band and St Martin-in-the-Fields choir.
Every day from December 9 until Christmas Eve there will be carols sung beneath the tree, with more than 50 groups taking part.
Performances will take place from 4pm-8pm on weekdays and 2pm-6pm at weekends.
This year, the town hall wants people to send in selfies with the hashtag #trafalgarselfie featuring the Trafalgar Square Tree.
Photos from past years are also welcomed. Just sent your snap to @Trafalgartree with your names and the year it was taken.
The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until Twelfth Night, when it is taken down for recycling. The tree is chipped and composted, to make mulch.