Christ­mas light­ing

This year’s event is a fundraiser for Kaik­oura earth­quake re­lief...

Central Otago Mirror - - WHAT’S ON -

Wanaka’s Christ­mas tree has been bring­ing joy and glee to res­i­dents and hol­i­day­mak­ers for three years.

The an­nual light­ing of the Christ­mas tree will take place on the lawn out­side the Wanaka Ho­tel on Fri­day from 7pm.

This year, the free event is a fundraiser for Kaik­oura earth­quake re­lief.

The or­gan­iser is Wanaka’s ‘‘Christ­mas Fairy’’, Jen An­der­son, a well known lo­cal en­ter­tainer.

Deputy mayor Calum MacLeod will light the tree.

En­ter­tain­ment in­cludes mu­sic, singing, danc­ing and mu­sic by lo­cal Wanaka groups Wanaka Ukele­les, Clas­si­cally Mu­sic and Dance Wanaka.

Wanaka Lions and Wanaka MItre 10 will help col­lect money for earth­quake re­lief. Do­na­tions can be cash or made by Eftpos.

Wanaka’s ar­ti­fi­cial, 7m-high, gaudily dec­o­rated tree was pur­chased by the Queen­stown Lakes Dis­trict Coun­cil for about $20,000 in 2013.

It was first used for Wanaka’s Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tions in 2014.

The tree’s pre­de­ces­sor, a mas­sive nat­u­ral pine tree that tow­ered above the Di­nosaur Park, got the chop in 2013 to im­prove the view of Lake Wanaka from Ard­more Steet.

The modern tra­di­tion of dec­o­rat­ing a Christ­mas tree with candy, baubles and bells had its gen­e­sis in Re­nais­sance Ger­many (around the 16th Cen­tury) and be­came more pop­u­lar in the 19th Cen­tury.

Tree wor­ship­ping prac­tices stem from much older times, and sur­vived the con­ver­sion of Euro­pean pa­gans to Chris­tian­ity.

Wanaka’s Christ­mas Tree.

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