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December 6#: Gubbio Christmas tree – Gubbio, Italy

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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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Few things could better inspire holiday spirit than a mountain-sized Christmas tree made from hundreds of real, live pine trees!
In Gubbio, Italy, individual trees on the slopes of Mount Ingino are outfitted with an array of lights to create the stunning visual of a 730-meters Christmas tree spanning the mountain from base to peak, in what is the largest Christmas tree in the world.
Its roots sink into the walls of the village, while the star is at the top where the Basilica of Sant’Ubaldo, patron saint of Gubbio, is located.

It’s always lit from the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 7, through the first week of January (January 9, 2022 this year).
Even better, the world’s largest Christmas tree is switched on by a notable figure each year, such as Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 and then, as his predecessor, Pope Francis in 2014 from a tablet in the Vatican. In a video message to Gubbio, he told the crowd of onlookers gathered on the illuminated mountainside, that “a Christmas without light is not Christmas.”
In 2017, it was switched on from space, and the event interest also many national and international associations, from Caritas to Medici Senza Frontiere in 2015 up to Save The Children in 2016.

In the same period, a district of Gubbio comes alive with “Le Vie del Presepe”: life-size wooden statues that move towards the hut of the Nativity.

Gubbio and Christmas have had a common bond since 1981, when on the slopes of Ingino Mount, locals (called “Eugubini”) had decided to “build”, in honor of the local Patron Saint Ubaldo, a Christmas Tree. Since then the tradition is repeated annually thanks to a special committee consisting of volunteers, called “Alberalioli” giving up their free time for about three months every year.
The Tree has more than 250 green points of light, about 300 multicolored lights and a star of 1.000 m² on top of the tree, designed by 200 lights, as well as 8.5 kilometres of electrical cable, in an illumination that can be seen up to 50 kilometres (30 miles) away.
Since 2010 electricity for the Christmas tree lights is generated by the photovoltaic system.
Such an achievement could not be unnoticed, and in 1991 it entered in the Guinness Book of World Records as “The World’s Largest Christmas Tree”.

Images from web – Google Research

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