Newcastle and Bergen develop new Christmas tradition for a sustainable future
Newcastle's Christmas tradition with Bergen is taking on a new twist for Christmas 2023.
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For more than 70 years, Newcastle has received a Christmas tree every year from the city of Bergen in Norway.
It is a token of gratitude for the city's support and friendship during the second world war.
However it is taking on a new traditional from 2023 as the two cities work together to share their commitment to a sustainable future.
As a result, it has been agreed by both cities to dedicate a living Christmas tree that is already standing.
As is tradition, The Mayor of Bergen will be the guest of honour at the festive event but Norwegian city will be gifting a Christmas bauble each year instead of a tree.
Newcastle City Council has confirmed that this is the start of a new and environmentally friendly custom.
Cllr Veronica Dunn, the Lord Mayor of Newcastle, has expressed her pride over the two cities working out a way to continue their Christmas celebrations in a sustainable way.
She said: "I am honoured to again welcome the Mayor of Bergen to Newcastle and am proud of the relationship we have built over the years and the close bond between our cities.
“We cannot underestimate the importance and value to our city being twinned with Bergen brings, and as we move together towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly communities, we are very proud to have worked in harmony to find new ways to celebrate this relationship in our Christmas celebrations.
“I look forward to welcoming everyone, including local people to the ceremony on 30 November.”
Marit Warncke, the Mayor of Bergen, has expressed her joy in being the first Mayor to take on the new Christmas traditional between the cities.
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She added: “Having only very recently taken over the role of Mayor I am delighted to be invited to Newcastle so soon to further progress the fantastic relationship between our two cities.
“I also understand the importance of the future of our cities and doing all we can to protect them for the next generation.
"I therefore welcome the new tradition we will be establishing this year and am honoured to be the first Mayor of Bergen to be bestowed with this.”
The new Christmas bauble tradition means that there will be no need to cut down a living, healthy Christmas tree and transporting it more than 1,100 to Newcastle.
It estimated that 622kg of CO2 will be saved due to there being no need to transport the tree overseas.
The lighting of the Christmas tree will take place in the grounds of St Thomas' Church, next to Newcastle Civic Centre, on Thursday, November 30, from 5pm.
Newcastle City Council has confirmed that the event is free to attend for everyone to attend.