RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec. 6th 2009 -- The traditional inauguration of the largest floating Christmas tree in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records - 85-meters-tall (equivalent to a 28-story building) - sponsored by Bradesco Seguros e Previdencia, gathered together thousands of people on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The lighting of the tree is considered the city's third largest event after Carnival and New Year's Eve. An international reference for Christmas, which, according to the mayor's office, attracts nearly 80,000 visitors per day, the tree will remain on display until Epiphany Day, January 6, when it will be lit up for the last time.
The theme of this 14th consecutive edition of the Bradesco Seguros e Previdencia's Christmas Tree is "The Joyous Uniting of Our Best Wishes." The monument, which has been a focal point of Christmas celebrations in Brazil and abroad since 1996, was decorated for the first time with traditional Christmas garlands representing the full range of everybody's year-end holiday wishes.
The scenic tree once again was created by Brazilian designer Abel Gomes, who spared no inventiveness in order to provide its spectators a magnificent show of lights and colors: 11 sequential patterns, illuminated by 2.9 million miniature bulbs, 52 kilometers of illuminated strands and 1,600 strobes (small bulbs with a flashing, stroboscopic effect), producing a twinkling star effect.
The light and color display presented by the largest floating Christmas tree in the world is powered by biodiesel generators that help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere. To optimize the use of fuel, a computerized telemetry system is used that activates the generators based on the requirements of the programmed lighting.
The CO2 emissions into the atmosphere caused by the set-up, exhibition and dismantling of the 2009 edition of the tree will be neutralized by the planting of trees.