[Illuminated Christmas tree and Nativity Scene on St. Peter's Square from past years.]
The annual Christmas tree lighting on St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican will take place on December 19 at 4:30 pm, and will coincide with the unveiling and illumination of the Nativity Scene, which features 25 life-size figures.
This year’s Christmas tree was donated by the region of Calabria and was brought to Rome on December 4. It is 25 meters tall, weighs 80 tonnes and is estimated to be 70 years old. It comes from the mountain area of Passo dell’Abate. It was transported by helicopter downstream before being loaded on a truck escorted by traffic police bound for Vatican City, where it was erected on St. Peter’s Square, as is tradition every year.
The Nativity Scene, “Il Presepe in Opera”, is a gift from the Verona for the Arena Foundation and is inspired by the set design used for the opera Elisir d’Amore by Gaetanto Donizetti, as a way to celebrate the opera season in Verona.