Culture

A Gift from Norway – Orkney’s Christmas Tree

It is a symbol of the lasting friendship between the county of Vestland in Norway and Orkney and always heralds the start of the Festive season in the islands when the Christmas tree arrives.

The Norwegian Christmas tree being unloaded. pic orkney photographic

In previous years the tree was sent from Hordaland but Vestland is a new large county which incorporates Hordaland .

The tree will stand outside the St Magnus Cathedral until just after the New Year. It will be lit on Saturday 5 December – however due to current pandemic restrictions there will be no ceremony or concert.

It arrived at Hatston Pier late in the evening of 26th November after being transported to Aberdeen, courtesy of the Norwegians – with onward transport to Kirkwall kind courtesy of Serco Northlink Ferries and Northwards.

The Norwegian Christmas tree with from left Chris Craigie from Northwards, lesley Burger Norwegian Consul anmd Robert Smith from Northlink. pic orkney photographic

All across Orkney communities are finding different ways to light up the Festive Season. Christmas Lights for North Ronaldsay

Harvey Johnston , Convener of Orkney Islands Council, said:

“For more than 30 years our Norwegian friends across the North Sea have marked our ties with the generous gift of a Christmas tree. Now more than ever this gesture of friendship and exchange resonates strongly and is very much appreciated.

“Obviously it’s with sincere regret that we cannot convene with friends and musicians from Norway this year and with members of our community to mark the lighting of the tree.

“However, as on the kirk green, trees across Orkney will be quietly lit over coming weeks – albeit without the usual community gatherings – helping provide a reminder of the wonderful community spirit and resilience which continues to sustain and protect us through a very challenging year.”

The St Lucy celebrations in 2018 credit Bell

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