Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, falling on December 1st this year, is an annual fanfare that follows the lighting up of a Christmas tree placed at the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, in mid-November and lit during a public ceremony on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

Fun fact: The tree lighting ceremony is broadcast each year on N.B.C. and is usually lit by the Mayor of New York City.

HISTORY OF ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING

The first Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center was erected in 1931, by construction workers at the center, who pooled money to buy a Christmas tree and decorated it with ornaments that their families made, to celebrate Christmas.

Two years later in 1933, the first official tree was erected in continuation of that event, and since then, it has been an annual tradition to erect a Christmas tree on the Rockefeller Plaza.
The annual ceremony that follows the lighting of the Christmas tree, usually by the sitting Mayor of New York City, is attended by dignitaries, celebrities, and tourists from around the world and is often broadcast on the N.B.C. news channel to millions of people watching from home and around the world.

The lighting often begins on the Wednesday following Thanksgiving, with preparation starting earlier in November, from transporting the chosen tree from its harvest location to the plaza where scaffolding is erected around it to aid workers in hanging about 50,000 multi-colored LED lights and the much-adored crystal star top on it.

Traditionally, the trees erected for the event have always been from New York and its surrounding states and are usually donated. But recently, the trees have come from as far as Ohio, brought to the center in one of the largest cargo planes available.

The plaza’s Head Gardener, Erik Pauzé, is often responsible for scouting for the desired tree in upstate New York and surrounding states, and the assessment of the ones submitted for consideration to the center through its website.

HOW TO OBSERVE ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

  • Attend the lighting ceremony
    What better way to experience and observe the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting than to attend the event? Witness performances by top singers and bands that have in the past included Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Mariah Carey, and Dolly Parton.
  • Watch it live on TV
    You can also watch the lighting ceremony on N.B.C., to observe the holiday. The lights are switched on at 9 pm after live performances by top singers and bands across the U.S.
  • Talk about it on social media
    Share your experience about attending the event on social media to get people excited about the festive season. Use the hashtags #rockefellercenter, #rockcenter, or #rockefellerplaza.

5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ROCKEFELLER AND ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. Its star has over 3 million crystals
    The three-dimensional Swarovski star that stands on top of the tree weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million crystals.
  2. It’s a century-old tradition
    The 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was the 88th observance of the event.
  3. It inspired a children’s book
    The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is alleged to be the inspiration behind “The Carpenter’s Gift,” a children’s book written by David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche.
  4. The Christmas Tree is donated after the ceremony
    The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree for 2020, continuing a longstanding tradition, was donated to “Habitat for Humanity,” for use in building homes.
  5. Standard Oil
    John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil company was the largest oil refiner in the world at its height and is regarded as one of the world’s first and largest multinational corporations before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was an illegal monopoly.

WHY WE LOVE ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

  • We get to watch top artists perform live
    Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is usually followed by a series of performances from artists and bands across the U.S. We get to watch these amazing performers live!
  • Its star and LED-lit ornaments
    The Christmas tree’s LED-lit star ornament is no doubt one of the many reasons tourists flock, from all over the country, to witness the ceremony. We love it!
  • The skating rink
    Oh, the skating rink and how gorgeous the Christmas tree looks from there! This is probably the most fun way to observe the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

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