Brazil lights up world's tallest floating Christmas tree

4th Dec 2012

The world's tallest floating Christmas tree had its lights switched on in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

The 85-metre-high Bradesco Seguros Christmas Tree in Brazil is as tall as a 28-storey building and weighs an incredible 542 tons, according to the Guinness Book Of Records.

Rio residents celebrated the tree's seventeenth year on Saturday with a free festival featuring world-renowned Brazilian singers Simone and Emilio Santiago.

More than 100,000 people flocked to the Rodrigo de Freitas to watch a six minute fireworks show.

Designed to mark the changing of the four seasons, the tree's lights begin by mimicking the falling of autumn leaves.

Suddenly, the tree turns completely white thanks to a falling snow effect representing the countries who celebrate Christmas during winter.

Spring is heralded by the arrival of brightly-hued 3D flowers, while the summer tree takes on a bright, yellowish colour.

The theme of celebrations this year is how Christmas is being celebrated globally, with the tree among major Rio events such as carnival and New Year's Eve.

It will be illuminated every day until January 6, Three Kings Day, when the lights will be turned on for the last time.

Alexandre Nogueira, the director of Grupo Bradesco Seguros, said: "It is an immense pleasure to offer everyone this symbol of Christmas that can move and unite people in celebration of the most fundamental human values."

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