World's Largest Floating Christmas Tree Lit In Rio De Janeiro (PHOTOS) (VIDEO)

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Rio de Janeiro lit up the night with the world’s largest floating Christmas tree on Saturday to mark the beginning of the holiday season, the Spanish new agency EFE reports.

Thousands gathered at the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon to watch the 6 minute firework show and witness as 3.1 million bulbs flickered to simulate the changes between the four seasons -- from Autumn’s falling leaves to Summer’s radiant sun. (Watch the video above)

“It was the first time that I saw the lighting of this tree and I think it was really beautiful,” a Brazilian spectator told The Telegraph. “It was very emotive, I cried, I thought it was wonderful.”

Standing nearly 280 feet tall and weighing 542 tons, the floating Christmas tree was built on 11 colossal platforms by Brazil’s largest insurance company, Bradesco Seguro. The company said the tree has been officially certified by Guinness World Records as the largest on water. (Check out pictures of the tree below)

The light show continued with “Todos os natais do mundo” (All of the Christmas celebration of the world), which included a performance of Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker” and an adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz,” in which Dorothy and the Wizard venture across the world to experience Christmas in Jerusalem, Rome, Moscow, New York, London, and Rio de Janeiro.

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