The Vatican says Ukraine has donated a "majestic" Christmas tree to decorate St. Peter's Square. Vatican City. Donating a Christmas tree to the home of Catholicism is considered a great honour. Vatican. 5th December 2011
Measuring over 30 meters and weighing nearly five tons, a spruce tree from the Ukraine was delivered to Vatican City and will now be decorated for Christmas. The tree was cut down last week with the help of a helicopter in a nearly inaccessible area of the Ukraine's southwestern region of Transcarpathia (Zakarpattia). The spruce will be decked out with more than 2,500 gold and silver balls and an equal amount of white and yellow LED lights that the Vatican has stressed are energy-efficient. It will be hoisted up beside the obelisk in St.
Peter's Square on Monday, followed by a lighting ceremony on December 16 where a representative from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be in attendance.
Donating a Christmas tree to the home of Catholicism is considered a great honour and every year a different region or country is given this privilege. The Ukraine is also donating another 40 smaller trees which will be set up and adorned within the Vatican itself. It is the first time the former Soviet country has had the honor since Pope John Paul II initiated the Christmas tree tradition in 1982. Trees have been donated in recent years by a number of European countries, including Romania, Austria and the Czech Republic.