Christmas has officially begun in Rio de Janeiro, as thousands of people turned out to see the world’s tallest floating Christmas tree and a firework display over the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon yesterday.
Crowds flocked to the waterfront to watch as the 542 ton and 85 metre high structure was lit up by a dazzling display of multicoloured fireworks.
The annual event, which is now in its nineteenth year, draws tourists from across the globe and is the third largest occasion in the city’s calendar.
Each year there is a new theme, represented by the tree’s lights, and “A Christmas Light” was chosen for 2014 - celebrating the importance of light in people's lives, symbolised by the sun, moon and stars.
The tree itself contains 3.1 million micro bulbs, 2,150 strobe effects and 100 LED reflectors, which enable the record-beating tree to change colour and display different designs.
This year Guinness World Records has officially certified that the tree is the largest of its kind in the world.
The Christmas tree will continue to float in the lagoon until 6 January 2015, the traditional end of the holiday period.
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