As if Rio didn't have enough iconic landmarks already, another seasonal floating one in the shape of a giant Christmas tree is planting its roots on the placid waters of the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. The man-made tree is the largest buoy of its kind looming at an impressive 85 metres (two better than last year and more than double Cristo himself), and marvelling at how the 542-ton brute stays afloat by day is soon replaced by wonder as night falls and the thousands of lights come on.
This year the accompanying theme is "All the Christmases of the world" and the ignition ceremony on the 1st December includes a full concert complete with musical adaptation of the classic Wizard of Oz starring the actors Malu Rodrigues and Luiz Carlos Miele. Dorothy will traverse the world's cities and eventually end up in good old Rio to set the tree aglow. The seasonal extravaganza wouldn't be complete without excerpts of ballet from 'The Nutcracker' suite, a huge electronic bell and a firework display that rivals New Year's.