"The Oslo Christmas tree - a present from Oslo." Top 5 Page for this destination ReykjavÝk Local Custom Tip by Regina1965

ReykjavÝk Local Customs: 71 reviews and 177 photos

by Regina1965
  • - Reykjavík
  • - Reykjavík
  • Speeches and entertainment. - Reykjavík
      Speeches and entertainment.
    by Regina1965
  • - Reykjavík

For 60 years now (2011) ReykjavÝk has received a present from Oslo, the Oslo Christmas tree.

The Oslo Christmas tree is lit on the first Sunday in Advent on Austurv÷llur square, the square opposite the Parliament. The ceremony starts at 16h and a lot of people attend with their children as this is the herald of Christmas here in ReykjavÝk. The Cathedral choir sings and the Norwegian ambassador holds a speech and this year the embassador of Norway in Iceland handed the Christmas tree over to our mayor. Everybody then counts down from 10 and then the tree is lit. And then we sing Silent night together. It is a lovely ceremony.

And then there is a program for the kids.

The tree is cut down in Norway and there is a ceremony there as well and the mayor of Oslo and the Icelandic ambassador in Norway attend.

In 2009 the Oslo Christmas tree was thrown into a fire which protestants had lit - shame on them!

In 2014 the biggest storm since 1991 hit Iceland after the erection of the Oslo Christmas tree, exactly a day before the tree was to be lit - and the top broke off the tree. It had to be replaced by an Icelandic Christmas tree that year.

There is another Christmas tree by the harbour, that one is a present from Hamburg. That tree has been given to the Icelandic nation by Hamburg since 1965, as a token of gratitude to Icelandic seamen who brought food-gifts to battle-weary children in Hamburg by the end of WW2. Hamburg stopped sending the tree in 2010 so for the first time the Christmas tree by the harbour is Icelandic.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 9, 2014
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Comments (3)

  • davidjo's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    I believe that the one in Trafalgar Square is a present from Norway too!

  • Durfun's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Wow.. Norway's been supplying since last 50 yrs!! I wonder why not Denmark? And does Norway give to Sweden too??

    • Regina1965's Profile Photo
      Dec 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      I know they send a tree to London and Rotterdam as well. Don┤t know exactly why, will find out. There are other Christmas trees sent to other towns in ReykjavÝk from their sister towns in Norway, f.ex. Asker sends a tree to Gar­abŠr town in Iceland and Kristiansand sends a tree to ReykjanesbŠr in Iceland.

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2014 at 8:52 AM



“Bon Voyage :)”

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