Christmas has finally really began at the Vatican. This evening, the Vatican's Christmas tree was lit in the center of St. Peter's Square. The light filled the area with a sense of Christmas cheer.
The illumination followed about an hour and a half of speeches and Christmas songs. Local authorities from Bavaria and the Italian region Trento were present.
The tree, more than 75 feet tall with a star on top, arrived about a month ago after being donated by several German towns. Its branches were decorated by children with cancer.
The Nativity scene that accompanies the tree is from Trento. The Italian region traditionally donates a Nativity scene to the Vatican every year. It is made up of 24 wooden figures in an area of about 60 feet by 40 feet.