Tradition: Lights on at the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York

With the traditional switching on of the more than 50,000 colored lights on what is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world at Rockefeller Center, the metropolis of New York has officially started the festive season.

Tradition: Lights on at the Rockefeller Christmas tree in New York

With the traditional switching on of the more than 50,000 colored lights on what is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world at Rockefeller Center, the metropolis of New York has officially started the festive season. The spectacle took place yesterday evening (local time) for the 90th time.

Music stars like Gwen Stefani, Alicia Keys and Blake Shelton performed at the show, which was also televised live, and thousands of people watched despite the windy and rainy weather on site.

Numerous streets around the Christmas tree in the middle of Manhattan had been closed to vehicles, the metropolis had warned in advance of a so-called "Gridlock Day", a traffic chaos day.

The lighting on the tree in front of Rockefeller Center, which has been celebrated annually since the early 1930s, is one of the most popular New York Christmas traditions, as is ice skating on the ice rink directly in front of it. This year's tree is an approximately 90-year-old and 25-meter-tall spruce from upstate New York.

At the top of the tree sits a star weighing around 400 kilograms designed by star designer Daniel Libeskind. Before that, the German artist Michael Hammers had been responsible for the star for many years.

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