Celebrating a 15-year tradition Brazilians and foreign visitors alike, thousands of them, gathered at Rio de Janeiro’s Rodrigo de Freitas Lake to witness the lighting of the world largest floating Christmas tree with 3.3 million lights.
The enormous tree, supported by a metallic structure and standing 85 meters (279 feet) tall has already been acknowledged by the Guinness World Records to be the largest of its kind in the world, but this year the tree grew 10 meters higher than it was last Christmas.
The tree is divided into 15 lighted sections, and this year organizers of the event increased the number of reflectors and lighted ornaments, as well as the number of lights.
Before the simultaneous illumination of all the lights, locals and tourists who packed themselves along the shore of the lake viewed a colorful fireworks show, which was preceded by performances by several musical groups.
The Rodrigo de Freitas lakeshore, which is a popular place to take a pleasant stroll in Rio, is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, which have the city’s three best-known beaches.
The tree, which every December is set up on the lake, will be illuminated every night until Jan 6, when authorities will begin disassembling the display.