About this time of year, the city of Oslo ships off Norwegian Christmas trees to some of its friends, specifically Washington DC, New York, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Reykjavik and London. This is a long-standing custom and especially the London tree is a dear, old tradition, upheld since 1947, to thank Britain for supporting Norway during the second World War.
This year, the tree was set up on Trafalgar Square on 2 December with the Mayor of Oslo and the Lord Mayor of Westminster jointly lighting it.
Trafalgar Christmas tree photo by emersonpovey/flickr’s Creative Commons
Oslo has a number of other friend cities and regions as well (often known as sister cities, twin cities, partner cities). These include – in order of distance:
Gothenburg in Sweden
St Petersburg in Russia
Vilnius in Lithuania
Warsaw in Poland
The Schleswig-Holstein region in Germany
Mbombela in South Africa, and
Shanghai in China.