Eco-friendly trees. Solid gold trees. LEGO trees. Judging by this year’s public display of Christmas trees in cities around the world, there’s no shortage of inspiring alternatives to the traditional evergreen tree.
We celebrate some of the best and most unique festive trees that are making their own statement around the world.
Floating Christmas Tree, Rio De Janeiro
The organisers of this spectacular 85-metre high Christmas tree display are brave enough to float it on water every year.
Rio de Janeiro’s famous annual floating tree, which sits on Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, is listed in the Guinness World Records as the largest of its kind in the world.
The cone-shaped fir is said to be decorated with 3 million miniature light bulbs and weighs 542 tonnes.
We’re not sure how it manages to stay afloat, but we can take a guess that Rio is in for an electric fireworks display if it were to sink.
‘World’s most expensive Christmas tree’, Tokyo
This golden Christmas tree on display at a jewellery store in Tokyo’s Ginza district is worth its weight in gold – quite literally.
Made from 12kg (26 lb) of gold and adorned with gold ribbons, hearts and orchids, it is said to be the world’s most expensive tree: worth a cool £1.2 million.
The solid gold tree is ‘display only’ and will be on show at the (well-guarded) jewellers until Christmas Day.
The ‘world’s tallest Christmas tree structure’, Italy
While not technically a ‘tree’ in the traditional sense, this 800-metre high Christmas tree-shaped light display on the slope of Monte Ingino in Gubbio, Italy has a special story behind it.
Pope Benedict XVI switched on the Christmas lights from his apartment in the Vatican with the touch of a Sony tablet device.
We’re not sure what is more amazing: the display itself or the thought of the Pope being a Sony fanboy.
The tree made up of lots of other trees, Germany
The Germans certainly know how to celebrate Christmas at home and abroad, with their Christmas markets popping up every year in town centres around the UK.
Back at home, the centrepiece of one of Germany’s biggest Christmas Markets in Dortmund is a gigantic Christmas tree, or rather, a collection of trees.
It is made up of some 1,700 Norway spruces, adorned with 40,000 lights and is 45 metres high.
‘Eco-friendly’ Christmas tree, Lithuania
The city of Kaunas in Lithuania has found a creative alternative to the traditional festive fir that hasn’t involved cutting down any trees.
This glowing, translucent 13-metre high Christmas tree is so ‘green’, it has been made from nearly 40,000 plastic recycled bottles.
LEGO Tree, London
London’s St Pancras station is aglow with a 12.2 metre high Christmas tree built entirely from LEGO.
It’s the tallest Christmas tree made entirely of the building bricks, according to LEGO.
The ‘plastic’ tree will be on show until January 3 before it is taken down – piece by piece….
‘Shopping Cart’ Christmas tree, Santa Monica
Santa Monica’s famous ‘Shopping Cart’ Christmas tree, which stands in a shopping complex tells its own story of consumerism.
Built by local designer & artist, Anthony Schmitt who switches the lights on each year, the tree symbolises, in Schmitt’s own words: “generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those [who are] less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart.”
Do you have a favourite? Let us know by leaving a comment below, or post your own Christmas tree displays for the world to see.