Today's the day! The annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a tradition since 1933. Fun fact about the Rockefeller Center Tree, it has been topped with a 550-pound Swarovski Crystal star since 2004. Tonight, December 3rd, the famous Rockefeller Center Tree will be lit in New York City. About 45,00 LED lights will illuminate the 85-foot-tall Norway spruce, which was donated by a couple from central Pennsylvania this year. Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett, Mariah Carey, Cyndi Lauper and other music stars will perform at tonight's event.
Another world-renown tree, the National Christmas Tree, which stands in President’s Park year round will be lit this Thursday, December 4th. Watch the lighting of the National Christmas Tree from the comfort of your couch with a mug of hot cocoa by tuning into the lighting live stream at thenationaltree.org. Not only can you live stream the event Thursday evening, you can follow The National Tree on Twitter at @TheNationalTree.
Christmas Tree Trivia:
- There are approximately 350 million Christmas trees growing on U.S. farms.
- President Coolidge started the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House lawn in 1923.
- The first decorated Christmas Tree appeared in Latvia in the year 1510? It’s true. Decorating Evergreen trees has been a winter tradition since 1510, even before the birth of Christ. Thankfully, we don’t usually use lit candles to decorate trees anymore (hello, house fires!), but decorate instead with twinkling lights and creative bulbs and baubles.
- Thomas Edison's assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas tree lights were first mass-produced in 1890.
(These facts are from the article "Great Moments in Christmas Tree History" on the University of Illinois Extension site.)
Watch the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree or the National Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., and have a wonderful holiday season filled with many beautifully decorated trees.
(Photo of the Rockefeller Center Chirstmas Tree by Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Photo of the National Christmas Tree from whitehouse.gov.)