The Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

poets, mayor and children stand in front of the trafalgar square Christmas tree smiling
Pupils from St Clement Danes Primary School with poets Coral Rumble and Joseph Coelho, and the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen, at the 2018 lighting-up ceremony. Photo credit: Hayley Madden for The Poetry Society.

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 Mayor of Oslo. The poem is read out at the official lighting up ceremony and displayed around the base of the tree.


This year’s Christmas Tree poem is written by brilliant poet Joseph Coelho. This year’s poem, ‘Look into my Lights’ was unfurled on Thursday 6 December 2018 and read by three children from St Clement Danes Primary School. Read the poem here. 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! Watch a film about this year’s poem below.


You can download A.F. Harrold’s teaching resource, written to accompany last year’s Christmas Tree poem. A free poetry resource pack for teachers is available upon request from [email protected].

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 A.F. Harrold, Julia CopusIan McMillan, Liz Lochhead and Kevin Crossley-Holland.