Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Christmas tree arrives in St. Peter’s Square

Christmas Tree arrives in Saint Peter's Square - Farranree Parish

The 28-meter tall spruce comes from the area of Macra, in the Piedmont region of Italy. This year’s tree will be officially inaugurated with a lighting ceremony on December 9.

Workers in St Peter’s Square began the process of raising and decorating the Vatican’s Christmas tree on Thursday morning. 

This year’s tree, a 28-meter spruce from the upper Maira Valley in the Piedmontese municipality of Macra, left for Rome on Tuesday aboard a special transport provided by the Viberti company.

Wood to be used for toys

“In Piedmont, trees are important”, said Alberto Cirio, the President of the Piedmont Region. He explained, “We do not cut them down haphazardly. This fir tree had to be felled because the fire brigade had found that it was at risk of collapse, after 56 years of life. The felling was already planned and had been authorized by the Region”.

Moreover, he said, the wood from the tree will not go to waste after the festivities: “When Christmas is over, the tree will not go to waste, but will be sent to a company that will turn it into toys for children [in need]”. The toys will be distributed through Caritas.

The inauguration of the Christmas tree

The tree will be decorated with lights and a canopy of over 7,000 dried edelweiss, donated by a Piedmontese nursery, which will give the effect of snow on the branches.

The traditional inauguration of the Nativity scene, which this year comes from Rieti, and the lighting of the Christmas tree will take place in St Peter’s Square, on Saturday 9 December, at 5 p.m. 

The ceremony will be presided over by Cardinal Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, president of the Governorate of the Vatican City State. 

In the morning, the delegations from Rieti and Macra will be received in audience by Pope Francis for the official presentation of the gifts.