Lights of Oslo Tree Lit in Reykjavík
The lights of the so-called Oslo tree were lit on Austurvöllur square, Reykjavík, last night, on the first Sunday of Advent, Morgunblaðið reports. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no formal program was in place, but the lighting was broadcast live during the RÚV evening news. Typically, the event is attended by a large crowd of people. (Check out the photos from 2019 here to see how different things looked back then).
Lighting of the Oslo tree has throughout the years marked the beginning of Advent and symbolized friendship between Reykjavík and Oslo, Norway, since the tree is a gift from Norwegians.
The Oslo tree used to be shipped from Norway to Iceland prior to every Christmas season, but since 2015, it has instead been cut in the Norwegian grove of the Heiðmörk municipal conservation area of Reykjavík, substantially decreasing the carbon footprint of its transportation. The grove is by Torgeirsstaðir, a cabin owned by the Association of Norwegians in Iceland.
The mayor of Reykjavík cut this year’s tree, as has become the custom. It is a 14-meter-tall (46-ft) Sitka spruce, about 70 years old.
In addition to the tree, municipal authorities in Oslo donate books to Reykjavík grade schools.