Pope lights up largest X'mas tree via tablet

Pope Benedict XVI used a tablet computer from his Vatican residence yesterday to switch on a giant light installation in Italy known as the "World's Biggest Christmas Tree".

"I hope this will be a light in the darkness," the Pope said.

The tree is made up of 400 large multi-coloured lights arranged across a hillside above the picturesque medieval town of Gubbio and stretches to a height of 750 metres and a maximum width of 450 metres.

Tech-savvy: Pope Benedict XVI uses his Android-operating tablet to
illuminate the World's largest Christmas tree. pic/afp

The shooting star at the top of the hill is made up of 250 lights and covers an area of more than 1,000 square metres.

The town in the Umbria region in northern Italy, which also has historical links to Saint Francis of Assisi, began the installation in 1981.

The connection to the lights in Gubbio was made through a web server. "This is a message of peace," Gubbio mayor Diego Guerrini said.

Looking bemused and aided by cardinals at his side, the 84-year-old Pope in June sent his first tweet using a tablet computer to launch a new Vatican multimedia web portal.

"Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," wrote the pope, using his formal name in LatinĀ -- which is still the Vatican's official language.

The number of lights on the Christmas tree in the town of Gubbio

750 m
The height of the Christmas tree



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