Even though winter is approaching in New York, the official Holiday Season does not start until the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza has been lit in a legendary and impressive lighting ceremony. This year, the lighting of the tree ceremony at Rockefeller Center will take place on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019.
The Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center – The Real Start of the Holiday Season
In New York the Tree Lighting Ceremony right after Thanksgiving is the official start of the Holiday season. Over the past years we weren’t super lucky with the weather but the Tree Lighting Ceremony attracts tons of people every year. Of course the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is the highlight from tourist coming to New York from all over the world during Christmas time. Most visitors only know the tree from movies or pictures, so it’s very impressive looking at it in person.
The Tree Lighting Ceremony
Around 8 PM the giant Christmas tree in New York lights up in all its glory. Usually, at the moment of the lighting, a general hush descends upon the masses gathered to view the event (a rarity in New York City), followed by a thunderous applause. And the applause is warranted – the tree is a sight to behold.
Sparkling and beautiful, it is the centerpiece of the Plaza every year. Our tip: if you would like to witness the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center, be sure to get there about an hour early with the ceremony starting at 7 PM. The tree is erected and decorated a few weeks prior to the event, but it will not be lit until Wednesday, December 4th.
If you want to avoid the crowds, you can attend an exclusive tree lighting party with views of the tree. These parties do not only offer views of the trees from a warm room but also let you enjoy a great party with food in a festive atmosphere. Because the tree lighting ceremony is such a big deal in New York and only a few locations have great views of the tree, tickets are quite expensive. You will need to decide for yourself whether it is worth it. Check out the details of an exclusive party below.
*If there are no tickets left anymore, it’s because they are sold out! Because of high demand, you need to reserve your spots as soon as you can.
The Star of Manhattan until January
Visitors that travel to New York during the timeframe of December 4th and January 17th get to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center; the tree enjoys celebrity status in Manhattan during that time and turns into the most photographed attraction in the city during that time.
At 9 PM on January 17, the lights are turned off. In the following days, the tree will be removed and then turned into valuable building materials for Habitat for Humanity.
Did you know?
What is behind arguably the most famous Christmas tree in the world? Where did it come from and how far did it have to travel to get to Rockefeller Center and be admired around the world? The most important questions: how many lights are on the tree at Rockefeller Center so that it can shine so brightly? Here you can uncover the 10 most important facts about the Christmas tree at New York’s Rockefeller Center.