Christmas trees may be one of the most recognizable parts of the holiday season – but that doesn’t mean that they have to all look the same! We’ve compiled a list of some of the most unusual, beautiful, excessive, or famous Christmas trees from around the world.
A Tree as Big as a Mountain – Monte Ingino, Gubbio, Italy
Sometimes referred to as “the World’s Largest Christmas Tree,” it’s actually a bunch of trees on the side of a mountain in Italy. The outline of the “tree” is created by covering specific trees on the mountainside in green lights. The result is 2,130 feet high and uses 5.3 miles of electrical cable. You can see the illumination from up to 30 miles away. Interestingly, the Pope has ceremoniously “lit” it remotely in previous years by using a tablet.
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree – NY Plaza, New York City
One of America’s most recognizable trees, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City is surrounded by an equally famous ice rink. The tree is usually donated to the center each year. After the holiday season, the tree is chopped into mulch for trails or cut into lumber for Habitat for Humanity houses.
Although the official history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree began with the opening of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in 1933, the construction workers of the center bought and decorated their own (much smaller) tree on Christmas Eve in 1931, using strings of cranberries, tin cans, and paper garlands. You can read more about the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree (and see a picture of that first one) on Wikipedia.
LEGO Christmas Tree – various locations including Australia, New Zealand, England and LegoWorld (California)
You may have purchased Lego kits for people in your life (especially the younger ones) this holiday season, but have you ever seen an entire tree made out of Legos? There have actually been several around the world at different times – the one pictured is from Melbourne, Australia in 2015. Can you imagine how long it must have taken to put together?! And you thought decorating YOUR tree took a while!
Most Lights Lit Using Pedal Power – Melbourne, Australia
Pedaling stationery bikes has been used for generating power for several projects, but in Melbourne created a world record by cycling their way to a Christmas tree lighting. The lights surrounded the cyclists, which, when observed from above, created the shape of a Christmas tree. You can see a video of the event here.
Largest Human Christmas Tree – Chengannur, India
Similar to the tree lit by bicycles, this “tree” was seen from above, when 4,030 people (mostly schoolchildren) wore red, green, yellow or brown and stood so that the shape of a Christmas tree would be visible. See pictures and videos of this record-breaking gathering from 2015.
Murano Glass Tree – Venice, Italy
Murano, an island in Venice, Italy, is known for its glassmaking arts. One of the glass blowers, Simone Cenedese, created a colorful Christmas tree out of glass tubes in 2006. It is 28 feet tall, contains 1,000 Murano glass tubes, and weighs three tons. View more images of the tree on the artist’s website.
World’s Largest Floating Christmas Tree – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon
Although it was a tradition started in 1997, the largest floating Christmas tree in the world hasn’t been lit since 2015 – but that’s changing this year. Rio lost a lot of money after hosting the Olympics, but with a new sponsor and a recovering economy, the 70 meter tall tree will be lit this year while floating in Lagoa Rodrigo de Frietas (a lagoon in Rio). Over 900,000 LED bulbs will be used on the tree, which typically displays different designs along with an impressive fireworks display. See pictures from the 2018 tree lighting here (be sure to translate the page!)
Galeries Lafayette – Paris, France
Known for its extravagant holiday displays, the Galeries Lafayette store in Paris has a unique Christmas tree each year. At four stories high, the tree is in the center of a domed ceiling, surrounded by beautiful arched balconies. In 2016, the entire tree was made up of paper, in 2017 it was made from inflatables (pictured) (mostly candy-shaped balloons), and the 2018 tree is a sparkly masterpiece. See a video of this year’s tree being assembled.
World’s Largest Tree…Sort Of – Dortmund, Germany
Another tree touted as the “world’s largest,” this one in Germany is made up of many trees. In the famous Dortmund Christmas Market, a giant tree is erected – using 1700 red spruce trees. Over 3.5 million visitors come to this Christmas market each season, and the tree is definitely one of the highlights.
Tumbleweed Christmas Tree – Chandler, Arizona
Back in 1957, when Chandler, Arizona was a tiny town in the middle of the desert, tumbleweeds were plentiful and the idea of making a Christmas tree out of them seemed (almost) natural. Now, Chandler and the surrounding areas are so built up (it’s actually a suburb of Phoenix), that the tumbleweeds have to be hunted down all year. Once they are assembled in the shape of a tree, they are painted white and covered with a flame-resistant material and glitter. Then strings of lights are added to complete the look.
There are actually quite a few lobster trap trees popping up in New England, we’ll let you decide which one is the best: https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2013-12-07/lobster-trap-christmas-trees-new-england
For more lists of interesting and unusual Christmas trees around the world, check out these articles:
After all this, you might conclude that you can make pretty much anything into a Christmas tree. And you might be right!