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Christmas in Trafalgar Square

Home > London > Free | Fireworks | Festivals | Classical Music | Christmas
by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
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Blessings, Fireworks, and Carol Service

Trafalgar Square is probably London's most famous public space; very popular with tourists, the beautiful fountain provides a relaxing place to sit, play, and make wishes. The square is overlooked by our naval hero, Admiral Horatio Nelson; the commemorative statue stands tall and proud on a hundred-and-sixty-nine foot column, where he is guarded by four royal lions.

One of the most popular times of year to visit Trafalgar Square is in December, when a whole host of festive activities take place. The Christmas Ceremony has been a running tradition since 1947, and is celebrated with a gift from Oslo. Every Year they present us with a Norway Spruce, which is decorated and lit up by the Lord Mayor. This symbol of friendship and peace is a token of gratitude for Britain's support during World War Two.

The Mayor will be lighting the Christmas Tree on the 5th of December. This will be followed by a torchlit procession on the 8th December at 5.30pm. Everyone is encouraged to join in as the sculpture of the Blessing of the Crib by Tomaki Suzuki is put on display. Then between the 9th-22nd December, fifty choirs will gather underneath the tree to sing carols.

On the 16th December, an official carol service will take place at Southwark Cathedral at 7pm. It is free to attend, but due to its popularity, you need to book a ticket.

If you are Jewish rather than Christian, then you will probably rather attend Chanukah. The festival, which sees the return of the giant Menorah lasts until the 5th December. There will be live music and free doughnuts.

Although there are no official New Year's celebrations at Trafalgar Square, the 31st December always brings a crowd. This is because you get a wonderful view the fireworks display which is held at The London Eye. The countdown to 2014 will be accompanied by a specially composed musical soundtrack. At the strike of Big Ben, everyone will join together to sing a rendition of 'Auld Lang Syne'.
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Why? Get festive
When: Until 31st Dec
Where: Trafalgar Square
Cost: Free
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