Ulaanbaatar has gone into its Christmas spirit after lighting up a 22-meter Christmas tree at Sukhbaatar Square on December 15.

This was the first time residents and city officials gathered at the square to switch on the Christmas lights. In previous years, the lights were turned on without an official ceremony.

Joining the festivity, Mayor of Ulaanbaatar S.Batbold greeted the crowd gathered at the square and said, “Exactly a year ago, I gave opening remarks at the tree lighting up ceremony at Ikh Janjin Square. As the mayor, I believe that many things changed and reformed during the past year, which passed in the blink of an eye. We will learn from our past mistakes, listen to the public and respect their opinion.”

Before switching on the lights, the mayor said, “We’re ready to light up our Christmas tree at Sukhbaatar Square, the central square of Ulaanbaatar, and bring joy and happiness. May the Christmas tree bring warm winter atmosphere and good health and fortune to all Ulaanbaatarians!”

Circus troops, dressed in Mongolian Santa Clause and snowgirl outfits, performed at the event.

The 22-meter Christmas tree was decorated by Gereltuuleg Chimeglel LLC, according to the Ulaanbaatar Mayor’s Office.

The Christmas tree set up at Sukhbaatar Square was purchased in 2008 and was fixed and redecorated last year. The New Year’s celebration is annually held at the square on New Year’s Eve, December 31, with live concerts, food and game stalls, and other fun attractions.

Director of the State Academic Drama Theater and State Honored N.Naranbaatar, who planned the opening and closing of the National Naadam Festival in the last two years, will organize this year’s New Year’s celebration. N.Naranbaatar revealed that all songs to be performed on December 31 will be related to either Christmas or the New Year’s.

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