Archive for December, 2013


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By Silvia Pelham


X-mas is here again – Rejoice!

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree-Lighting Ceremony is celebrating its 80th year this year! Some say it’s been longer…

Five-Leaf System - X-mas tree NY Rockefeller Center

Image Source: – by APN

The Rockefeller Center, built between 1930 and 1939, employing 40,000 people during the Depression was considered the largest private building complex in the world at the heart of New York City.

Built between 48th and 51th street and spreading over from the 5th to the 6th it was declared a National Historic Landmark a quarter of a century ago and houses at its hub since 1936 its famous ice-rink and from 1933 it’s equally famous Christmas tree.

But history tell us that the very first tree was actually put up a year after the start of the construction by its builders on Christmas Eve – a fir some 6 meters tall covered in strings and garlands made from paper and tin cans….

Five-Leaf System- 1930 Rockefeller Center Builders

Image Source:

The tree traditionally a Norway spruce comes not only from nearby states donors such as upstate New York and New Jersey but has also been known to arrive from friends from afar such as Canada.

Its height ranges from 20 to 30 meters which is close to the span of life of the tree and is brought in a month before the ceremony to coincide with Veterans Day – on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month – to be taken down 5 weeks after tree-lighting, on January 7 2014.

Up until a decade ago the tree was finished by a fibreglass star decorated with gold leaf lit up by spotlights from neighbouring buildings and thousands of light bulbs spread across its branches.

But Michael Hammers thought differently and he saw the star as it should be – giving light rather than receiving it – and conceived a design inspired on the movement of light portrayed by a comet.

A glowing light with emitting diode implants signalling to all that it had come to life – a Crystal Star was born.

Five-Leaf System - Michael Hammers - Swarovski Star - 2013

Image source: 

This year the Swarovski Star is made of 25,000 crystals with 1 million reflecting facets measuring 3 meters across and weighing a quarter of a tonne topping a tree housing 45,000 LED bulbs. What a wondrous bright light welcoming all into 2014!

By Silvia Pelham