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December 4#: Floating Christmas tree – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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From its Puritan roots to complaints of rampant commercialism, Christmas around the world is been filled with traditions, old and new. Some date back to 16th-century Germany or even ancient Greek times, while others have caught on only in modern times.

And, among them, Christmas trees are one of the most popular, now all over the world.
Their tradition is long and rich, and has resulted in some modern trees that run the gamut from breathtakingly beautiful, encapsulating everything that Christmas stands for, to something simply weird.
Thus, If you need a little help to get into the holiday spirit this year, get yourself a winter drink with some holiday treats and a tour of the world’s best or most unusual Christmas trees. These towering pines (or sand or bottle piles, in some cases) are decked to the nines and shine brightly for holiday season, from Florida, Brazil, Mexico all the way to Lithuania.

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Revelers like to do it big in Brazil, and Christmas time is no exception.
Although Christmas falls during the summer in Brazil, sometimes pine trees are decorated with little pieces of cotton that represent falling snow!

Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in Rio de Janeiro is home to what has to be one of the most unique Christmas trees in the world: a floating tree that stretches over 80 meters into the sky, a tradition that began alongside an amazing fireworks display in 2014, when about 1,200 producers, engineers and artists worked on the tree sponsored by insurance company Bradesco Seguros.

Five generators on barges kept the tree’s lights going: orange to represent sunrise, blue in its moon phase, green and gold as a Christmas tree with lighted candles, and stars that turn colors.
It takes 2.228 kV of electricity to light up the tree which is the amount of electricity consumed by 300 three bedroom houses.
And, something similar, was set up for the first time already in 1996.

OK, technically it’s not a tree but an amazing connection of metal and lights that’s no less dazzling than the real deal.
The tree has to be constructed on a barge each year and is lit up with more than three million lights, attracting around 200,000 visitors.
Even Santa Claus – called Papa Noel here – will be present, although only on weekends.

When the tree was set up in 2015, a heavy snowstorm split it in two a week before it was to be illuminated, forcing authorities to reduce its height from the traditional 85 meters to a little over 50 meters.

There’s no word as to whether or not Lagoa Christmas Tree will be lit this year or if there’ll be a fireworks display. The event does not take place every year. In fact, after being damaged in 2015, it remained dark in 2016 and 2017 due to the economic crisis that had ravaged the city’s coffers.
And, to this day, Rio is yet to completely recover from that crisis.

Images from web – Google Research

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