Sunday, December 21, 2008

Natale nel Vaticano

Seeing as how it is that time of the year, I thought I would share with you all a small article I read about the Christmas tree in Piazza di San Pietro in Vatican City:

"Vatican's Christmas tree lit

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's tallest Christmas tree is twinkling in St. Peter's Square. The Vatican says the 109-foot (33-meter) red spruce from Austria's Piesting Valley is the tallest since Pope John Paul II started the tradition of setting up a tree in the square in 1982. Hundreds of pilgrims from Austria sang carols in the pouring rain Saturday as the tree was officially unveiled.

It is decorated with 2,000 gold and silver balls, white lights and a shining star. It stands next to a larger-than-life-sized Nativity scene which will be unveiled Christmas Eve. Pope Benedict XVI met with the Austrian pilgrims Friday to thank them for the tree, saying it would give him joy to see it from his apartment window."

I also found an article that I found to be really interesting and cool. The Vatican will be recycling their tree this year and making wooden toys out of it to donate to children. I wonder what they do with the one in Rockefeller Center?

"Big Vatican Christmas tree to be recycled into toys

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The largest Christmas tree ever to be placed in St Peter's Square in Rome was lit on Saturday and Vatican officials said its wood will be recycled to make toys for needy children.
The 33-meter-high tree, which came from the forests of southern Austria, was lit at an afternoon ceremony as rain that has brought the nearby Tiber River to one of its highest levels in decades started again after a one-day break. The Vatican said all the wood from the 120-year-old tree will be recycled to make toys for needy children and garden furniture such as benches for schools.

The decision to recycle the wood from the tree was the Vatican's latest effort to go green. Last month it activated a large system of solar panels on the roof of its audience hall and announced an ambitious plan that could one day make it an alternative energy exporter. "

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