the jul tree is lit…and then some

December 2, 2007

today i got to see the lighting of the municipal christmas tree, one of the yearly holiday events here in copenhagen. it’s santa’s job to make sure that the lovely tree you see below is lit every year; however, i found danish santa’s technique to be a bit…unconventional. i’ve come to learn that each country has its own particular christmas traditions…and in denmark, santa’s a pyro. read on.

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here’s the beautiful finished product. but let’s start at the beginning and see a little “process.” (that’s for you architecture people out there!) every year on the first sunday of december, santa ceremonially lights the christmas tree in the rådhuspladsen (city hall square) to kick off the holiday festivities.

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santa arrives at the square not in a sleigh, but via fire truck (which is appropriate, for reasons which will soon become very apparent)

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crowds of onlookers wearing tiny santa hats watch with apprehension…

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as santa ascends the fire truck ladder to the tree.

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then, just as he reaches the top, santa pulls out what at first appears to be a fire hose…

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but is in fact some kind of festive, tree-lighting blowtorch!

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santa takes no chances in making sure that the tree is lit…!

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(and how!)

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finally, santa descends the ladder after a successful tree-lighting (and, thankfully, no pyrotechnic mishaps).

“god jul” from copenhagen, and may your tree be well-lit!

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