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Rockefeller Christmas Tree: From a humble celebration to the epitome of extravaganza

Here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a tradition that is almost 100 years old.

There’s no more famous Christmas tree than the one displayed at Rockefeller Center in New York. Its lightning is one of the most anticipated holiday events and its way from one of the US forests to the heart of Manhattan is quite an even. 

Hence, here are some facts you probably didn’t know about the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, a tradition that is almost 100 years old born after The Great Recession.

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When is the lighting of the Christmas tree?

Traditionally, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit the Wednesday after Thanksgiving and left until early January. 

This 2021, it will be lit on December 1st and for the first time since the pandemic began, you’ll be able to attend the ceremony. 

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The tree will be lit daily from 6 am-12 am. On Christmas Day, the Tree is lit for 24 hours and on New Year’s Eve it is lit from 6 am to 9 pm.

The tree takes its time to get ready

This year’s tree was chosen from Elkton, Maryland, and arrived last November 13th; however, is not immediately decorated. It must rest to return to its original shape and is pruned by maintenance workers to get it ready.

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The tradition is 90 years old

The first time the Christmas tree was displayed was in 1931 and it was entirely paid out by Rockefeller Center workers, while the decorations were made by their families. 

In 1933 the owners decided to make it a tradition and assumed the full cost of the first tree lighting ceremony.

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[Image: Rockefeller Center]

It takes almost a week to decorate it

After the tree rests and gets back to its original shape, the decoration begins. It usually takes a week to put up the lights, decorations, and the star.

Is not just any tree

Each year a tree is chosen from the spice Norway spruce. This 2021 is a 79ft tall tree and weighs over 12 tons. It is approximately 85 years old.

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About 50,000 LED lights are needed to illuminate the entire tree. Almost 5 miles of wire are needed to plug all these lightbulbs! 

It has a very special star

The more than 90-pound ornament was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind in 2018 and consists of 70 spikes covered in nearly 3 million Swarovski crystals. It is valued at approximately 1.5 million dollars.

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The tree doesn't end up in the trash 

Once the lights go out in mid-January, the tree's wood is used to make doors and window frames for those in need in New York City. It has also been used to make sheets of paper.

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