Reykjavík city has received a Christmas tree as a gift from Oslo, Norway for over 60 years or from 1951. The Oslo tree is usually a large tree and has become an essential part of Reykjavík's Christmas decorations, where it has been put up in Austurvöllur square, in front of the parliament.
The city of Oslo has now announced that they will not be giving Reykjavík a Christmas tree this year, or ever again. Oslo has had a similar arrangement with Rotterdam and London, but will also stop giving Rotterdam a tree. London however is apparently politically more important and will continue to receive their tree for the foreseeable future.
The Christmas lights on the Oslo tree in Reykjavík have always been lit on the first Sunday of Advent, the fourth Sunday before Christmas - which marks the official start of the Christmas season in Iceland.
Spokespeople for Oslo city have given a reason for the gift withdrawal - it is said to be too expensive, complicated and not environmentally friendly. The transportation of the tree is also a complicated procedure.
The Oslo City Council points out that Iceland has grown so much in the past years that they finally have their own pine trees, large enough to use as a Christmas tree. The also reported that Norway still wishes to be a part of the Christmas tree lighting in Reykjavík, for example by sending Norwegian performers to attend the ceremony.