As the festive season kicks off, several Christmas tree lighting ceremonies will take place across Orkney this weekend.
The Kirkwall tree, to be positioned on the Kirk Green outside St Magnus Cathedral, has for many years been gifted to the island community by the people of Norway.
The tree will be lit at a ceremony on Saturday, December 4, where the Salvation Army will add some festive cheer with Christmas carols.
Another tree inside the Cathedral has been gifted from the Fjaere Historical Society.
The ceremony is being held at 5.25 pm outside complying with Covid restrictions with the Kirkwall City Pipe Band playing, followed by speeches from Council convener Harvey Johnston and Norwegian representative, Leslie Burgher.
Other smaller ceremonies are taking place across the islands including in Orphir, Finstown, Dounby, Shapinsay, Flotta, Sanday and Westray.
Tree lighting to bring festive cheer to Orkney Islands.
The ceremonies come as locals face another Christmas season with the looming cloud of Covid hanging over the festivities.
Council Convener Harvey Johnston said: “For more than 30 years our Norwegian friends across the North Sea have marked our ties with the generous gift of a Christmas tree.
“Now more than ever this gesture of friendship and exchange resonates strongly and is very much appreciated.
“The tree will once again be delivered through the generosity of Serco Northlink Ferries and Northwards – and I thank them for their kind help with this.
“2021, like 2020 before it, has been quite extraordinary and I’m sure many of us are entering the festive period looking forward to some time with our friends and family before we enter a new year.
“Community tree lighting ceremonies are a highlight of the festive calendar – bringing together local folk in celebration and reflection.
“This year I’m afraid we are still restricted in how we can mark such events, but even so, the trees will still be lit and I am sure that sense of celebration will prevail.”