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World's largest floating Christmas tree lights up the sky over Rio de Janeiro

November 28, 2011

On Saturday, the 16th annual floating Bradesco Seguros Christmas Tree lighting ceremony was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Approximately 100,000 people turned out for the event, which was accompanied by a dazzling fireworks display and performances by Gal Costa, Frejat and other world-famous entertainers.

The massive holiday structure is the largest in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and it will be lit ever night at 7:30 p.m. until January 6. The tree itself has about 3.3 million light bulbs and stands about as high as a 29-story building. This year's theme, "A Gift for the Brazilian Family," extends past the tree to Christmas-themed decorations such as candy canes and presents.

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but the lighting ceremony has become a force of its own and one of Rio's most anticipated annual events - right up there with Carnaval and New Year's Eve. The holidays are widely regarded as a time for families to be together, but some people may have to work outside the country during this season. They can still stay in touch with their loved ones by making calls to Brazil with international phone cards so they don't have to miss all the festivities.

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