Christmas Lights In The West End
Friday December 7, 2012 by Alex Wood
The West End twinkles over the winter time with an array of magical Christmas light displays to brighten up your Christmas shopping. Every year the lights have a different theme and this year continues the celebrations of the 2012 Olympic games. Decorated with gold holly and red berry garlands, celebratory tributes to the Olympic and Paralympic teams will hang from the sky and gold filigree plaques along the street will tell the story of the twelve days of Christmas. In nearby Oxford Street the gold theme has been taken up with lights sponsored by Marmite!
In Carnaby Street there is a rock and roll theme where the lights have been designed by the iconic rock band The Rolling Stones to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The decorations will consist of huge 3D spheres suspended throughout Carnaby Street containing gold and silver vinyl records emblazoned with the Stones’ iconic artwork and album covers. The Carnaby arches will also be dressed with their tongue logo.
In Trafalgar Square there is a beautiful Christmas tree which has been given each year since 1947 to the people of London from the people of Norway in gratitude for Britain's support during World War II. For many Londoners the lighting of the Christmas tree and carol singing in Trafalgar Square signal the countdown to Christmas and on 9th December is the blessing of the Crib. Trafalgar Square is also the focus for the Hanukka celebrations in London from 8th – 16th December marked by the lighting of a giant menorah.
If you’re lucky enough to be in London on Christmas day itself, while children across London are eagerly waiting to unwrap their presents, members of the Serpentine Swimming Club will be preparing to swim their traditional 100-yard Christmas Day race – The Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park.
Swimmers have met in London's Hyde Park on Christmas morning since 1864 to compete. Novelist JM Barrie donated the first Peter Pan cup in 1904, the same year that his play Peter Pan made its debut on the London stage. The Peter Pan Cup is only open to members of theSerpentine Swimming Club who have qualified during the season so you wont be able to join in this year, however as the icy Serpentine waters are usually below 4C (40F) degrees in the winter, that’s probably not to much of an issue for most people. The race starts at 9am on 25 December, on the south bank of the lake, close to the Serpentine Café. Spectators are welcome, but you're advised to wrap up warm!
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Posted by Alex Wood