| RIO DE JANEIRO – On Saturday night in Rio, Cariocas lit the iconic floating Christmas tree—the largest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. At 279 feet tall, weighing 542 tons, and decorated with 3.3 million light-bulbs, the tree is one of the city’s main seasonal tourist attractions.
The event featured a 10-minute fireworks show accompanied by musicians such as Gal Costa, the Barra Mansa Symphony Orchestra and the Choir of the Bradesco Foundation. The night’s festivities enchanted about 200,000 locals and tourists alike. This year’s theme is “A Gift for the Brazilian Family.”
The Christmas festival is considered one of the three major annual events in Rio, after Carnaval and New Years Eve. The scene received jubilant applause from the peaceful but enthusiastic crowd estimated at over 200,000 by the organizers. The fireworks and pyrotechnics lasted about 10 minutes.
“It was the first time I attended the fireworks here and it was awesome. The shows were great too,” Tatiana Viera from Curitiba told terra.com.br.
The Christmas tree is in the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon and will be on display until the Epiphany, January 6th, 2012. The site is open for visits Sunday through Thursday, from 7:30 pm to 2 am, and, Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 pm to 3 am.