The Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Centre here has been lit up, marking the traditional start of the holiday season.
The annual lighting ceremony of the Rockefeller Centre Christmas Tree, now in its 85th year, on Wednesday night featured musical performances by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Diana Krall and John Legend, reports Efe news.
Traffic in midtown Manhattan around the Rockefeller Centre was affected throughout yesterday evening due to the event.
The 72-feet tall Norway spruce came from Wallkill, a hamlet north of New York where it had grown for the last 75 years.
The 12-tonne tree is the first tree in Rockefeller Centre's history to be donated by a same-sex or Latina couple.
Another novelty for this year is the almost three-metre tall star which tops the tree, made of three million Swarovski crystals and designed by renowned Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind.
More than 8 km of cables with tens of thousands of lights will adorn the tree until January 7, which will be lit daily between 5.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m., with the exception of December 25 when it will be lit up for 24 hours.
After January 7, the tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity, an American NGO, founded in 1976, which builds shelter for those in need throughout the world.
The tradition was started on Christmas Eve 1931 by a group of construction workers who were building the Rockefeller Centre
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