VATICAN CITY (AP) — The lights have been turned on a 25-meter-tall (82-foot-tall) Christmas tree in the center of St. Peter's Square.
Tourists applauded when the tree, topped by a star, became aglow in colored lights during a Vatican ceremony at dusk Friday. The fir was donated by a town in Bavaria, Germany.
The Vatican said after the tree is taken down, following the end of the holiday season in January, the trunk will be used to make toys and other everyday objects. That "recycling" aspect dovetails with the Vatican's concerns about the environment.
Big crowds are expected to flock to the square during the holidays to admire the tree.