Christmas time, the most wonderful time in New York
Author Sanel Huskanovic / Category Christmas Time in NYC
November is the month when the magical and contemplative Christmas spirit begins to breathe in New York, when the beautiful metropolis appears even prettier, when the lights add warmth and splendor to the Big Apple and the Christmas decorations give dreamy eyes.
In America, Christmas is a very special time and many Americans pay great care and attention to Christmas lights. There's an entire neighborhood deep in Brooklyn, Dyker Heights , that has a long-standing tradition of illuminated houses. In this area, almost every house is excessively decorated and illuminated with the help of professional decorators. In the period from December 1st to January 3rd, we have a tour that takes you there.
Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center
Then there are the Christmas trees...which are true masterpieces in New York. One is the most famous of all and is known even outside the Big Apple.
Which Christmas tree am I talking about? From the Rockefeller Center tree! At over 25 meters tall, the 45,000 LED lights and the 25,000 crystal Swarovski star at the top are a not-to-be-missed show. Prepare your cameras to capture the symbol of New York Christmas!
"Walking down Fifth Avenue at Christmas time, past St. Patrick's Cathedral, then to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. To me, it brings out a kind of unique human spirit that can only be found here." Joe Torre
Tree lighting show at Rockefeller Center
When is the Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony?
The lighting of the lights, which is always a big show with numerous superstars, is always between the end of November and the beginning of December. The fixed date changes but the day is always the same, the first Wednesday after Thanksgiving.
This is an event that officially marks the start of the Christmas holiday in New York and is televised live by NBC (the radio and television company based at Rockefeller Center).
This year, in 2023 , the lighting will be held on Wednesday, November 29th . The ceremony lasted approximately three hours, the eventual starting time is 7 p.m. and continues until approximately 10 p.m. Great artists and many guests from the entertainment world perform on the stage mounted on the ice rink. In the past, the stage has hosted artists such as Bocelli, Sting, Gwen Stefani, Mariah Carey, etc.
Would you like to take part in the ceremony? The event is free and open to everyone. However, you have to get to Rockefeller Plaza in advance, at least 3-4 hours, because after filling the square is cordoned off and no longer accessible.
When did the lights on the tree go on?
Beginning with the Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will remain lit throughout December until January 7, the end of the Christmas holiday.
The lights will be on from approximately 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day during this period.
However, there are some exceptions:
- On Christmas Day the lights burn all day
- On New Year's Eve they will be turned off at 9:00 p.m
- On January 7th, the last day, the tree will be lit until 9 p.m
You shouldn't miss out on admiring the most famous Christmas tree in all its splendor!
How do you get to the tree?
The tree is located at Rockefeller Plaza in the Rockefeller Center complex. The latter is between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 48th and 51st Streets.
The address to enter into Google Maps is: 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111
It is easy to reach by subway as there are many lines covering the area. In particular, the B, D, F, V subway lines arrive directly at the 47-50 Street/Rockefeller Center stop.
My advice the best way to admire the tree is coming from 5th Avenue. In this way you walk the path between the Christmas angels, which make the atmosphere seem magical and unreal.
Curious about tree facts?
- Rockefeller Center's first ceremony dates back to 1933.
- It is always a spruce tree that is selected and donated each year by the nonprofit Habitat for Humanity.
- This year, the 85-year-old tree comes from Vestal in upstate New York and will be installed on Saturday, November 11th.
- At the end of the holiday, the wood from the tree is used to build houses for the neediest people.
- The Swarovski star that will be placed on the top of the tree is worth 1.5 million euros and will be displayed in front of the ice rink before installation.