The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

Children from Gateway Academy with Julia Copus and The Lord Mayor of Westminster, at the 2016 ceremony. Photo: Hayley Madden
Children from Gateway Academy with Julia Copus and The Lord Mayor of Westminster, at the 2016 ceremony. Photo: Hayley Madden

It’s probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, and its lighting-up ceremony has come to signify the beginning of the Christmas season in the British capital. Since 2009, The Poetry Society has worked with the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London to create a poetry project inspired by the tree, which is now established as a central part of the tradition.

Poetry from workshops in Westminster primary schools is presented each year to one of the UK’s best children’s poets. Their task is to produce a new poem celebrating the gift of the tree from the people of Norway. The poem is read out at the official lighting up ceremony and displayed around the base of the tree.

2016

The official lighting up ceremony for 2016 took place on 1 December, where this year’s poem ‘The Christmas Tree’s Secret’ by Julia Copus was read by children from Gateway Academy. In London this festive season? Make sure you go and see the poem for yourself, now decorating the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree throughout the holidays!

A free poetry resource pack for teachers is available upon request from [email protected]

You can also download Julia Copus’ teaching resource, written to accompany this year’s Christmas Tree poem. Each year, The Poetry Society commissions a new poet to create the poem that will decorate the base of the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. Previous poets include Ian McMillan, Liz Lochhead and Kevin Crossley-Holland.

Look North More Often is supported by The Northbank.