Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan, will tomorrow light the first ever Nigerian National Christmas Tree, which is an initiative of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The Minister of State for FCT, Olajumoke Akinjide, yesterday in Abuja, described the historic event as part of the efforts to showcase Nigeria and the FCT to the world as a tourism brand and preferred tourism destination.
Akinjide explained that the Christmas tree, which is 20.9 meter high, is strategically located at the Unity Fountain Park, besides the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja and adorned in the national colours of green and white.
She disclosed that among the dignitaries expected at the ceremony scheduled for December 19 are members of the National Assembly, wives of governors, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), chairmen of area councils in the FCT and their wives, heads of ministries, departments and agencies of government, heads of secretariats, departments and agencies of the FCTA, diplomatic corps, the media among others.
“The Christmas time is traditionally recognised and celebrated as a season of peace, goodwill and hope across national boundaries. It also offers us a unique opportunity to reinforce this same message of love, unity, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.
“It is consequently our anticipation that an annual lighting of the Nigerian National Christmas Tree will play a similar unifying role for our people,” the minister noted.
Christmas trees displayed publicly and illuminated with electric lights became popular in the early 20th century.
By the mid-20th century, it became customary to display strings of electric lights as Christmas decoration detached from the Christmas tree itself, along streets and buildings.
By the late 20th century, the custom had also been adopted in non-western countries, notably in Japan.
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