Disclaimer: Due to COVID-19 concerns, many events might be canceled, postponed, or changed into limited versions, sometimes at very short notice. Please check with event organizers directly for the latest updates (view the "External Resources" section below).
There's nothing more iconic about the Christmas season in New York than the giant tree in Rockefeller Center. The Norway spruce looks unbelievably picturesque in its full attire towering above the street and the ice rink.
Although the festive tree is put up in early November, the lighting ceremony is held only in late November after Thanksgiving Day, or in early December. This event is accompanied by live entertainment that gathers thousands of revelers each year. The long-awaited 'big moment' comes when the sparkling lights come alive while the crowd collectively awws in unison. But don't worry if you miss the ceremony, the beautiful tree will still be up there until early January. For the updates, please check the official website.
Christmas Tree Lighting Event (December 2, 2020)
More than half a million people visit the Christmas Tree every day. It makes Rockefeller Center a must-see during any Christmas New York City’s excursion. The biggest crowds gather each year during the Christmas Tree Lighting Event that is accompanied by live music, performances, and shows. On Christmas day, the lights on the tree shine for 24 hours.
The tradition of the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center dates back to the 1930s when workers gathered on the Rockefeller Plaza construction site to get their paychecks during the height of the Great Depression. It has become a symbol of hope and renewal.