Since the Jubilee of Mercy starts on Dec. 8, the Vatican Christmas tree will be unveiled early, to coincide with the beginning of the special year.
Vatican Radio reported that the Governorate of the Holy See decided to move the unveiling earlier.
This year’s tree, donated by the German region of Bavaria, is a two pointed Spruce, which stands 32 meters (105 ft) tall. The tree will arrive on the 18th of November and will be erected overnight by the staff of the Vatican Gardens.
The crib scene and figures will be donated by the Archdiocese of Trento, collaborating with the Friends of the Crib of Tesero group. The 24 life-sized figures will make up the various scenes at the base of the tree. Apart from the figures of Mary, Joseph, the Child and the three Magi, other figures will represent the various Trentino nations, complete with accurate representations of rural buildings and typical Trentino clothing from the mid-20th century.
The Vatican has joined forces with the Countess Lene Thun Foundation and recreated designs made by children suffering from cancer. The Countess Lene Thun Foundation offers recreational therapy to children in oncology wards across Italy. The children were asked to come up with designs that represent their dreams and desires.
Some of the children who designed the decorations will meet Pope Francis on Dec. 8. They will present him with some of the decorations they made and accompany him to the unveiling of the Tree. The Christmas tree lights will be illuminated on 18th December.