Festive fun as London celebrates Christmas and brings in the New Year

20 November 2014

The Mayor of London is supporting a series of free events to help Londoners and visitors to the capital celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year. The Mayor of London Boris Johnson says: 'London is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, with hundreds of events and activities taking place across the city. From ice skating at iconic locations to carol singing concerts and services, seasonal pantomime to outstanding theatre, and Christmas markets to fine shopping, London has something for everyone.' 


CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Thursday 4 December 2014 18:00hrs Trafalgar Square The annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony will take place in Trafalgar Square, accompanied by the Salvation Army and St Martin-in-the-Fields Choir. The tree is a present from the Norwegian capital of Oslo to the citizens of London, given as a gift for over 60 years as a token of gratitude for Britain's support during World War II. The tree is set to be in place until Sunday 4 January 2015. After being taken down the tree will be chipped and composted, for recycling as mulch. www.london.gov.uk/events 


BLESSING OF THE CRIB Sunday 7 December 17:30 – 18:30 Trafalgar Square Join a torch-lit procession on the steps of St Martin-in-the-Fields, as the choir and clergy bless the Crib in a special ceremony in Trafalgar Square. The Crib is designed by Tomoaki Suzuki, with figures inspired by London's diverse population. It will be on display in the square throughout December. For more information, please visit www.stmartin-in-the-fields.org 


TRAFALGAR SQUARE CAROLS Monday 8 - Tuesday 23 December Trafalgar Square The popular annual carol singing programme organised by the Mayor of London takes place on the Square, with charities and other organisations able to raise funds for good causes. More than 50 carol groups will be taking part, so come and enjoy some traditional songs and more modern festive favourites beneath the Christmas tree. Performances take place from 4pm-8pm weekdays, and 2pm-6pm weekends. More information can be found at www.london.gov.uk/events 


MAYOR'S CAROL SERVICE Monday 15 December 19:00 Southwark Cathedral, Montague Close, London SE1 9DA This year's Mayor's Carol Service begins at 7pm and will feature a variety of musical performances, alongside traditional congregational Christmas carols and readings. The event is free and members of the public are welcome to attend. Please note that a ticket will be needed for entry, which will be available from www.london.gov.uk from the week beginning 24 November. It is advised to arrive early as seats fill up quickly. Doors open at 6.15pm. 


CHANUKAH: LIGHTING OF THE MENORAH Tuesday 16 December 17:30 – 19:30 Trafalgar Square See the giant menorah lit up with candles for the Chanukah London event, in celebration of the Jewish festival of lights. The menorah will be on display at Trafalgar Square until 27 December. The menorah holds nine candles – one of which is lit each night - plus one in the middle to light the others. More information can be found at www.london.gov.uk 


LONDON NEW YEAR'S EVE FIREWORKS DISPLAY Wednesday 31 December London's hugely popular New Year's Eve fireworks display attracts enormous crowds, the majority of whom are unable to get a good view. It is being ticketed for the first to help manage crowd numbers and ensure it can continue for the longer term as a safe and enjoyable event. Tickets carry an administration fee of £10 each and need to be booked via www.london.gov.uk/nye. People without a ticket will not be able to get into the viewing areas, but can still watch it live on BBC One. Across the capital there are also hundreds of other celebratory events and activities taking place in bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs. Wherever revellers bring in the New Year, they should plan ahead, as many venues will be ticketed with advance booking required, especially in central London. Public transport will be the best way to get around the capital on the night. For tips about what to do on New Year's Eve: www.visitlondon.com/newyearseve


NEW YEAR'S DAY PARADE Thursday 1 January 2015 12:00 –15:15 Central London More than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries worldwide will take part in the annual parade, including marching bands, cheerleaders, clowns, acrobats and much more. The parade will kick off at Piccadilly and finish in Parliament Square taking in Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. For more details please go to: lnydp.com 


Notes to editors

1. More details about events backed by the Mayor can be found at www.london.gov.uk/events. 2. Information about events and attractions throughout Christmas and into New Year can be found at www.visitlondon.com/christmas. 3. Information to help you plan your journey over the same period will be available at www.tfl.gov.uk.