At 4.30 p.m. today, in a cold winter evening in the Vatican, the Christmas tree and the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square lit up.
They will remain that way until January 8, 2017. The tree is an 80-feet tall fir that was brought from the Trentino region in the north of Italy.
The nativity scene, on the other hand, is a gift from the Archdiocese and Government of Malta. It was designed by local artist Manwel Grech.
The nativity scene includes a traditional Maltese boat, the "luzzu,” which not only represents Maltese tradition, according to the artists, but also the plight of the refugees that have to cross the Mediterranean fleeing from war and poverty.