Reykjavík’s so-called “Oslo tree” was lit in Austurvöllur square to mark the first day of Advent yesterday. The tradition marks the beginning of the Christmas season for many Reykjavík residents. RÚV reported first.
Norway’s capital has been sending Reykjavík a Christmas tree annually since 1951, as a sign of friendship between the two cities. While originally sent from Norway, in recent years, the gifted tree has actually come from Heiðmörk forest on the outskirts of Reykjavík.
Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson had the honour of lighting the tree’s decorations alongside seven-year-old Jónas Hrafn Gunnarsson, who is Norwegian-Icelandic. Two of Iceland’s thirteen Yule Lads made an appearance at the lighting ceremony, to the delight of children attending.
In both 2014 and 2015, Iceland’s winter proved too much for the Oslo trees, which were damaged by storms and had to be replaced.
The Oslo tree features new decorations each year. This year’s decorations can be seen on the photo below.