Christmas in Trafalgar Square

Christmas at Trafalgar Square

Every year, since 1947, the people of Norway have given the people of London a Christmas tree. This gift is in gratitude for Britain's support for Norway during World War II.

About the tree

The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree is usually a Norwegian spruce (Picea abies) over 20 metres high and 50-60 years old. It is selected from the forests surrounding Oslo with great care several months, even years, in advance. The Norwegian foresters who look after it describe it fondly as 'the queen of the forest'.

The tree is felled in November during a ceremony in which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo participate. It is brought to the UK by sea, then completes its journey by lorry. A specialist rigging team erects it in the square using a hydraulic crane. It is decorated in traditional Norwegian fashion, with vertical strings of lights. Energy-efficient light bulbs are used.

The lighting ceremony

Don’t miss the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree, which takes place in Trafalgar Square on 6 December 2018 at 6pm. The 25-metre high tree is a gift from the people of Norway to London, in thanks for Britain’s support in World War II. This historic tradition has happened every year since 1947 and signals the countdown to Christmas in London.

Find out more at www.london.gov.uk/events

Recycling the tree

The Christmas tree remains in Trafalgar Square until just before the Twelfth Night of Christmas, when it is taken down for recycling. The tree is chipped and composted, to make mulch.

Blessing of the crib

9 December 2018, 5.30pm

Blessing of the crib
Join a special blessing of the crib ceremony in Trafalgar Square in December 2018.

Meet on the church steps at 5.20pm for a torch-lit procession to Trafalgar Square led by the Lakeside Brass Quintet with the Choir and Clergy of St Martin-in-the-Fields.

For more information please visit the St Martin-in-the-Fields website.
 

Carol singing

10 - 21 December 2018

From Monday 10 to Friday 21 December 2018 (except 15 December), over 40 carol singing groups will gather beneath the famous Christmas tree to entertain visitors to Trafalgar Square. Why not come along? Performances take place from 4-8pm on weekdays, and from 2-6pm at weekends. See the full programme below.

See information for choirs

Note: Please be aware that this information is subject to change and The Greater London Authority (GLA) will not accept responsibility for any inconvenience or loss incurred by last-minute cancellations or alterations to the schedule.

Monday 10 December

4pm

Metronomes
Charity: Place2Be and Alzheimer’s society

5pm

Help musicians UK choir        
Charity: Help musicians UK

6pm

Hearst magazines 

7pm

Dawliffe hall            
Charity: Dawliffe hall educational foundation

Tuesday 11 December

4pm

City University Music Department Choir   
Charity: Mind and Islington Law Centre

5pm

Friends of St Joachim’s        
Charity: Friends of St Joachim’s School

6pm

London Rock Choir        
Charity: Ukraine charity

7pm

She Choir            
Charity: The Lullaby Trust

Wednesday 12 December

4pm

Venn singers            
Charity: MSF and The Turtle Foundation

5pm

Together Network Singers    
Charity: Together Network

6pm

The Big Sing
Charity: Big Sing Soul

7pm

Cherry Pie Choir            
Charity: Claire House Children’s Hospice

Thursday 13 December

4pm

RNLI Lifeboat Choir        
Charity: Royal National Lifeboat Institution

5pm

Rock Choir
Charity: Rays of Sunshine

6pm

Music in offices

7pm

Victoria park singers      
Charity: Alzheimer’s Society

Friday 14 December

4pm

Amulet Choir            
Charity: Crisis

5pm

Crown Court Church of Scotland, Covent Garden             
Charity: Christian Aid

6pm

Lewisham choral society    
Charity: St Joseph's Hospice

7pm

Nicola Hands            
Charity: Moroccan Children's Trust

Sunday 16 December

2pm

Chicks Charity Choir        
Charity: Children’s Charity Chicks

3pm

Fulham and Hammersmith Choral Society            
Charity: Coram

4pm

Music in Hospitals and Care    
Charity: Music in Hospitals and Care  

5pm

Ukrainian Cathedral Choir 'promin nadii'            
Charity: British Ukrainian Aid

Monday 17 December

4pm

The Latymer School Senior Choir            
Charity: Crisis

5pm

Take Note Blackheath        
Charity: MSF

6pm

Hertfordshire Rock Choir        
Charity: Evolve Housing and Support

7pm

Full Circle Fund Therapies    
Charity: Full Circle Fund Therapies

Tuesday 18 December

4pm

in2scienceUK and friends        
Charity: in2scienceUK​

5pm

TBC

6pm

Making Music Christmas Stars    
Charity: Making Music

7pm

The Greater Love Choir 

Wednesday 19 December

4pm

Cordinas Union of Welsh Independents Incorporated 
Charity: Madagascar Appeal

5pm

Metropolitan Police Choir        
Charity: Care of Police Survivors

6pm

Popchoir                
Charity: London’s Air Ambulance

7pm

PwC Choir                
Charity: PwC Foundation

Thursday 20 December

4pm

The Jollies

5pm

Action for Children and friends        
Charity: Action for Children

6pm

The Single Homeless Project Choir    
Charity: The Single Homeless Project

7pm

Hope UK    
Charity: Hope UK

Friday 21 December

4pm

Ash Church Choir            
Charity: Ellenor Hospice

5pm

Cardiomyopathy Singers           
Charity: Cardiomyopathy UK

6pm

Grovesnor Light Opera Company         
Charity: Grovesnor Light Opera 

7pm

The Sometimes Singers            
Charity: The Bobath Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Events and visiting the square

Find out more about events at Trafalgar Square on our events pages.

Find out how to get to the square and the facilities available on our visiting page, or for more information go to Visit London