LOOK: Vatican hoists traditional Christmas tree


Posted at Nov 24 2016 10:48 PM

It's starting to feel like Christmas in the Vatican.

This, as workers have started hoisting the annual traditional Christmas tree at the center of St. Peter's Square. 

Photos from Reuters shared by Radio Vatican showed a huge crane mounting the tree on Thursday morning, Rome time. 

A communique from the governing office of Vatican City said the tree is 25 meters high and was plucked from the region of Trentino in northern Italy. 

The tree will be adorned with handmade ornaments featuring drawings made by children undergoing treatment for cancer and other illnesses. 

The Christmas tree will be accompanied by a special Nativity scene which will feature 17 statues dressed in traditional Maltese costumes, as well as a replica of a traditional "Luzzu" Maltese boat. 

The Christmas tree and the Nativity scene will be inaugurated on December 9 and will stay lit until the Feast of the Lord's Baptism on January 8, the official end of the Christmas season according the Catholic Church's liturgical calendar. 

The tradition of setting up a Christmas tree and a life-size Nativity scene at the center of St. Peter's Square started in 1982 under the pontificate of John Paul II. 

Since then, different countries and regions in Europe have taken turns in donating a tree to the pope.