Tonight in London, the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting will be taking place.
It’s a tradition that kicks off the holiday season in grand style and I was happy to be in London in 2009 for the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting. Waiting for the official ceremony to start, the crowd was in a happy mood with much laughter filling the air.
Even on a blustery day, the spirits were high. We had a position by the fountain behind the staging area where we watched the procession of the Mayors of London and Oslo, Lord Mayor of Westminster, and the Choir of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. I’m always touched by the story that Norway has been giving the people of London the holiday tree (a Norway pine) for the past 65 years in gratitude for British help during World War II.
After a welcome and speeches by the officials, the tree’s vertical strings of energy-efficient white lights were lit to cheers and applause. We then joined in heartily as the choir led us in carol singing.
After the ceremony, we walked to Covent Garden, passing the London Coliseum where theatre-goers were arriving for a performance of Messiah. Further along St. Martin’s Lane, we sat by the window at the Angel and Crown pub and enjoyed watching people hurrying along to parties and dinner.
Later, we also took in festivities in London’s Knightsbridge area where the famous Harrod’s department store and other buildings were aglow with holiday lights.