People in London mock their Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square: some see it as a metaphor for the state of the nation, others see parallels with Boris Johnson’s head of hair.
Christmas trees are imagined differently: plump, green and healthy, with lots of lights. This year’s tree in London’s Trafalgar Square, on the other hand, looks rather sad and dry. It therefore evoked a mixture of cheerfulness and disbelief in passers-by. One man wrote on Twitter: “Swap it!” Another commented: “It looks like it has been there since last year.”
Norway has given the British a Christmas tree every year since 1947. A gift as a token of gratitude to the Londoners for their help during the Second World War. The spruce has been erected in Trafalgar Square ever since. This year, however, people in Great Britain are wondering whether the tree was actually transported properly: “Does anyone know what happened to the rest”, they ask themselves and also speculate about whether he might have had a haircut from Boris Johnson.
Trafalgar Square is one of the largest public squares in London and has been a central meeting place since the Middle Ages. A memorial to Admiral Nelson is enthroned in the square. Under his leadership, Great Britain won the Battle of Travalgar in 1805 against Napoleon’s troops. This marked the beginning of British supremacy at sea, which had lasted for more than a century. No wonder, then, that a “torn” tree in this venerable place is understood by the locals as an ironic commentary on the state of the nation.
“Nothing represents ‘global Britain’ better than a half-dead tree!” Wrote one. And: “The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square looks like the country feels.” Someone asked. “Who pissed you off?” Was another comment. Some speculated that the dismissal of Norwegian coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United football club in November may have played a role in the selection of the spruce.
Another internet user used the tree to look inside: the “perfect visual representation of my life”. Another explanation for the condition of the spruce was offered on the official Twitter account of the tree of the Westminster Council: “I want everyone to know that half of my branches are not missing – they are doing ‘social distancing’.”