The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, a New York tradition

For almost a decade, the impressive Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center has been lighting up New York and the eyes of passers-by. A look back at an iconic tradition in the American city, whose reputation extends beyond its borders.


In 1931, the workers building the Rockfeller Center took the initiative of planting a Christmas tree on the site. They wanted to brighten up the construction site, which was taking place during the Great Depression. Despite the makeshift decor, the idea won over the crowds. From 1933 onwards, the tree lit up and became the symbol of Christmas in New York. Three years later, the legendary ice rink was installed alongside it.


While the tradition is perpetuated year after year, the tree adapts to changing circumstances. Simple, patriotic decoration during the Second World War, broadcasting of the illumination by NBC in 1951, the addition of trumpet-playing angels by artist Valerie Clarebout in 1969, recycling of the tree from the 1970s onwards, red, white and blue colours following the 2001 attacks, eco-responsible lighting a few years later… The tree, ever more majestic, is a reflection of history and in tune with the times, much to the delight of locals and tourists alike.





The magic of Christmas


On 29 November, the 2023 tree was lit up once again at a ceremony attended by the town’s mayor, celebrities and residents. The spruce was chosen by Rockefeller Center’s head gardener, Eric Pauze, and comes from Vestal, a town 300 kilometres from New York. At 25 metres tall and 13 metres wide, the tree weighs no less than 12 tonnes.


The tree is illuminated by more than 50,000 multicoloured LED lights along an eight-kilometre stretch of wire. At the top, a Swarovski star weighing over 400 kg is adorned with millions of sparkling crystals. The octogenarian tree is lit every day from five in the morning until midnight, and for 24 hours at Christmas.





It will be switched off for good at 10pm on 13 January, and then donated to Habitat for Humanity, an NGO specialising in housing construction. Having dazzled passers-by, the tree will now have a second life, helping to build new homes.


This emblematic attraction continues to delight young and old year after year.



Featured photo : © New York

Grâce à une veille accrue et à une excellente connaissance de ces secteurs, la rédaction de Luxus Magazin décrypte pour ses lecteurs les principaux enjeux économiques et technologiques de la mode, l’horlogerie, la joaillerie, la gastronomie, les parfums et cosmétiques, l’hôtellerie, et l’immobilier de prestige.


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