Pope to Light World's Biggest Christmas Tree

Will Use Tablet Computer From Papal Apartments

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 6, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI on Wednesday will use a tablet computer to switch on the lights of the world’s biggest Christmas tree.

The tree, located in Gubbio, Italy, is a “sign of universal peace and brotherhood among peoples,” a statement from the Vatican noted.

The “tree” is made up of an arrangement of colored lights on the side of Mount Ingino. It is a tradition at the site since 1981.

The base of the image is approximately 450 meters (492 yards) wide and it extends for 750 meters (820 yards) up the hillside from the city’s mediaeval walls to the basilica of St. Ubaldo. The outline of the tree is traced with 300 green lights, and 400 multicolored lights fill it in.

The tree is illuminated every year on Dec. 7, during a traditional celebration attended by representatives of the world of culture, show business and politics.

Benedict XVI will activate the lights from his apartments in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. He will touch the screen of a Sony Tablet with an Android operating system which, via the Internet, will transmit the command to switch on the electric current to the tree.

The Holy Father will be seen in Gubbio thanks to a television linkup organized by the Vatican Television Centre. The event, which will be televised both nationally and internationally, is due to begin at 5.30 p.m. and the illumination of the tree will take place at 6.30 p.m.

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