Rio de Janeiro kicks off the Brazilian Christmas season lighting up what is hailed as the world’s largest floating tree.
(Reuters) – A colourful spectacle of fireworks and lights marked the launching of Rio de Janeiro’s traditional floating Christmas tree on Saturday (December 12).
The massive metal structure, recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s largest floating Christmas tree, is 53 metres (174 feet) tall and weighs 350 tonnes (386 tons).
Nearly 200,000 people looked on as the tree lit up for the 20th consecutive year in Rio’s scenic lagoon, ringing in the Christmas holiday season in Brazil.
Less than two weeks before the launching, the upper part of the tree’s metal structure collapsed due to heavy winds, forcing organisers to postpone the ceremony and diminish its height by nearly 30 metres (98 feet).
The massive structure uses 2.5 million micro light bulbs to create the three designs chosen for this season’s tree – blue rain drops, a world map and traditional Christmas baubles.