Currently the “Lighthouse” and “Iceman” objects are in first and second place respectively, with “Pine Cone” coming in third. The festival is organized to mark Rīga's place as the claimed home of the first decorated Christmas tree.
As previously reported Latvia has insisted it has the right to be regarded as the true home of the decorated Yuletide tree. Medieval documents suggest local merchants set up a decorated Christmas tree in 1510 and burned it a part of a seasonal celebration. A large plaque proudly marks the spot on which the festive inferno was believed to have happened, outside the so-called Blackhead's House.
Backing up the claim is the US' National Christmas Tree Association which confirms: “The first written record of a decorated Christmas tree comes from Riga, Latvia. Men of the local merchants’ guild decorated a tree with artificial roses, danced around it in the marketplace and then set fire to it.”
This year the festival includes 25 outdoor design objects inspired by Christmas trees. The objects were created by professional artists, creative industry representatives and Art Academy students. An online map of the objects is available on the website, and a print version is available at Rīga City Council customer service centers, Rīga Central Library branches and tourist information centers.