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One of the most cherished traditions at Christmastime is decorating a Christmas tree and marveling at its beauty throughout the Christmas season. Whether it be a live, cut or an artificial tree, the creations that result are as unique as our own fingerprints and only limited by our imagination and availability of natural and artificial resources. Here are some examples of just how unique some cities around the world have chosen to make their Christmas trees this year.
10. Johor, Malaysia
A different kind of Christmas tree can be found here, at a place known as Legoland Malaysia. I bet you can’t guess what kind of tree it is. Yes, it’s a Lego tree. This year’s tree is over 29 feet tall and weighs over 13,000 pounds. The manual labor for this job looks easy enough in this time-lapsed video, but actually took almost 10 weeks and a total of 3,440 hours of build time. This, by the way, is Asia’s tallest Lego Christmas tree.
9. Austin, Texas
The Zilker Holiday Tree is in its 46th year of existence. It is a beautifully lit, 155-foot tree of lights constructed each year in Zilker Metropolitan Park in Austin, Texas by two dozen Austin Energy employees. More than 3,300 colored, 25-watt bulbs are alternated through 39 streamers. A 10-foot tall star holding 150 lights is lifted and mounted to the top of Moonlight Tower. The streamers are then hoisted with a 75 ton bucket truck and mounted to the top of the tower. The calculated placement of yellow bulbs in the streamers produces the spiraling effect seen in the lit tree. This pattern was created by the City of Austin electricians. The completed tree has a circumference of 380 feet and a diameter of 120 feet. Nineteen 14’ utility poles placed in a circle around Moonlight Tower make up the base of the tree.
8. Gubbio, Italy
The tradition of the Gubbio Christmas Tree began in 1981 and has continued annually since. The tree is actually an illumination of lights installed yearly on the slopes of Monte Ingino. The tree is 2,132 feet high, 1,148 feet wide, made up of 3,000 lights with over five miles of electrical wiring. In 1991, Guinness recognized it as “the World’s Largest Christmas Tree.” Last year, the Pope turned the lights on remotely with a tablet computer.
7. Venice, Italy
Murano Island of Venice is home to the tallest glass Christmas tree in the world, created by master glasswork artist Simone Cenedense in 2006. It stands approximately 24.5 feet tall, weighs 3 tons, is made of 2,000 iron sticks, 1,000 glass pipes, and 5,000 bolts, and has an 1,100 pound base as ballast.
6. Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw really knows how to light a tree. You might think you’re watching a rocket lifting off. The tree is over 88 feet tall and stands in Castle Square in front of the Royal Castle. This may not be the most unique tree I’ve run across, but it is certainly the most dazzling... and purple... tree that I recall seeing.
5. Paris, France
A gorgeous 69-foot tall tree designed by Swarovski takes center stage at the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. The tree is decorated with 600,000 lights and 120 giant crystals, and sits on a chandelier base decorated with 5,000 smaller crystals. It is quite fitting for such a beautiful building.
4. Dortmund, Germany
Dortmund’s 148-foot tree(?) towers over their bustling Christmas market. The “tree” is actually 1,700 spruce trees from the Sauerland mountains, arranged on metal scaffolding to appear as one giant tree, covering an area of over 2,100 square feet and weighing 30 tons. This year it sports 20 giant candles, 48,000 bulbs, and is topped with a 13-foot angel. The decorations also depict pride in their Borussia Dortmund champion football team.
3. Tokyo, Japan
A revolving Christmas tree made of pure gold and worth $4.2 million has been put on display in a Tokyo jewelry store. The tree weighs 88 pounds and stands close to 8 feet high. It is decorated with gold plated silhouettes of 50 Disney characters and gold leaf ribbons. The tree is actually for sale, but they’ve had no offers yet. However, they have had offers on a smaller version that only runs around a quarter mil.
2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio has hit the Guinness Book of Records this year with their 280-foot tall, 542 ton, 3.1 million bulb creation, crowned the world’s largest floating Christmas tree. It stands on 11 platforms that float atop the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. The lighting alternates scenes which depict the changing of the four seasons.
1. Brussels, Belgium
The Grand Place central square in Brussels usually dons a 65-foot pine from the forests of the Ardennes at Christmastime. This year, they chose to display a cubic tree of sorts, an 82-foot abstract light installation. This is by far the most unique tree, to say the least, a city has chosen to usher in Christmas 2012. Not everyone is happy with that decision.