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.
The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree will be lit this year on Thursday 7 December at 6pm. Pupils from St Joseph’s school will be reading this year’s poem, ‘The Friendship Tree’ by children’s writer A.F. Harrold – do head down for a lovely festive evening. 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!
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 Julia Copus, Ian McMillan, Liz Lochhead and Kevin Crossley-Holland. Last year’s lighting up ceremony took place on 1 December, where 2016’s poem ‘The Christmas Tree’s Secret’ by Julia Copus was read by children from Gateway Academy.