While much hype was made over the construction of the world’s largest Christmas tree at Galle Face green, the record is yet to be formally recognized as Sri Lanka has not sought recognition from Guinness World Records.
Constructed at an estimated $80,000, the tree drew the spotlight of the international media but not the record books.
“We haven’t had an application made for this specific record. This is a great achievement and we would encourage them (authorities) to make an application via our website for us to be able to ratify this if successful,” Amber-Georgina Gill, the UK and International Press Officer of Guinness World Records Ltd told Colombo Gazette.
Even after being dismantled local officials can make an application via the Guinness World Records website and submit their evidence for the records management team to review in house.
“They will need a combination of measurements, photographic and video evidence, witness statements for the team to be able to adjudicate this attempt,” Amber-Georgina Gill said.
In order to be recognised as a world record an application must be submitted to Guinness World Records Ltd, considered to be the ultimate authority in record breaking achievements.
The largest artificial Christmas tree recognised by Guinness World Records measures 55 metres (180.4 feet) and was achieved by GZ ThinkBig Culture Communication Co.,Ltd. (China), in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China on 25 December 2015.
Including the star on top, the tree in China measures 56 m (183.4 ft). The diameter of the bottom of the tree is 22 m, and the circumference is 69 m. The tree was covered with green synthetic foliage and decorated with ornaments and lamps.
Sri Lanka went past the record on December 24 with the tree at Galle Face green despite a short delay in completing the work as a result of some opposition to the construction of the tree.
The Catholic Church had initially objected to the construction of the tree saying it was a waste of money which could have been put to better use.
The Christian community in Sri Lanka had also expressed disappointment at the construction of the Christmas tree.
“We are saddened to note the latest addition to the celebrations in the erection of the tallest ‘Christmas Tree’ in the world at Galle Face Green. What is alarming and disturbing is the fact that the placement and location of this giant ‘Christmas Tree’ with all its glamour and splendor, purposefully and discreetly hides the pride of human sin in the ‘Port City Development’. This development project raises serious questions and will have severe consequences on the environment, livelihoods and the displacement of our people,” the Christian community had said in a joint statement.
The issue was also raised in Parliament with opposition Parliamentarian Wimal Weerawansa saying Ports Authority was spending state funds to construct the tree.
However Port and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga clarified that the world’s tallest Christmas tree was constructed at Galle Face with funds from a private company.
Weerawansa however said that Ports Authority staff were involved in the construction work and were getting paid from the Ports Authority.
Work on the tree later resumed following talks with the Catholic Church. While China had the tallest artificial Christmas tree, according to Guinness, the world’s tallest cut Christmas tree was a 67.36 m (221 ft) Douglas fir (Pseudotsga menziesii) erected and decorated at Northgate Shopping Center, Seattle, Washington, USA, in December 1950.
The largest Christmas tree structure is 127.99 m (419.91 ft) tall and was achieved by Energisa Sergipe – Distribuidora de Energia S/A (Brazil) with a creation presented in Aracaju, Sergipe, Brazil in December 2009. The structure was decorated with 25,200 redhot lights and 3,144 strobe lights. (Colombo Gazette)