Vatican Christmas tree lights switched on in St Peter's Square

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews
Vatican Christmas tree lights switched on in St Peter's Square

<p>There is less than a week until Christmas and the Vatican has switched on the lights on its tree in St. Peter’s Square.</p> <p>The governor of Vatican City said he hopes the lights “illuminate everyone’s hearts” and explained that the nativity and crib “send a message of love”.</p> <p>Pilgrims and tourists travelled to the Holy See from Italy and around Europe.</p> <p>“It is the symbol of Christianity,” said tourist Vanna Bono. “We have both the sacred and the secular here: the Nativity scene is Christian, while the tree is a secular tradition.”</p> <p>“It is a tradition that unites the family in this moment to celebrate it,” explained Sabina Vargas, who travelled from Barcelona. “It is a tradition, but is also a way to get the family together for this simple act of decorating a tree, which is surely something symbolic.”</p> <p>What perhaps seems like an ancient tradition of putting a tree in St. Peter’s Square is actually quite a recent custom. It began when Pope Saint John Paul II introduced it in 1982.</p>