Rio de Janeiro: Thousands of Brazilians and visitors gathered at Rio de Janeiro`s Rodrigo de Freitas Lake to witness the lighting of the world`s largest floating Christmas tree with 3.3 million lights.
The enormous tree, supported by a metallic structure and standing 85 metres tall has already been acknowledged by the Guinness World Records to be the largest of its kind in the world, but this year the tree `grew` 10 metres higher than it was last Christmas.
The tree is divided into 15 lighted sections, and this year organisers of the event increased the number of reflectors and lighted ornaments, as well as the number of lights.
Before the simultaneous illumination of all the lights Saturday, locals and tourists who packed themselves along the shore of the lake viewed a colourful fireworks show, which was preceded by performances by several musical groups.
The Rodrigo de Freitas lakeshore, which is a popular place to take a pleasant stroll here, is adjacent to the neighbourhoods of Copacabana, Ipanema and Leblon, which have the city`s three best-known beaches.
The tree, which every December is set up on the lake, will be illuminated every night until Jan 6, when authorities will begin disassembling the display.