Mairie ‘troll’ explains Strasbourg Christmas tree saga

As Strasbourg replaces its Christmas tree for the second time in weeks, the city’s Mairie offered locals chance to take home part of the stricken pine, after its very own “troll” interrupted proceedings.

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As the Alsace city gears up for Christmas, it has been forced to replace two traditional pine trees in its Place Kléber after each developed problems soon after their installation.

In recognition of this unusual issue, the Mairie created a theatrical show, featuring a tree “troll”, whose “curse” had affected the city, explained French news source 20 Minutes.

Just as the new tree was set to be cut down, an actor dressed as a troll appeared and ran around grabbing branches and generally causing havoc, as a means to “dramatise the Christmas tree saga, [which has been affected] by a troll-like bad luck curse”, the Mairie explained.

Normally, after use, the city’s Christmas tree is cut down and used for firewood, but this time residents were instead encouraged to take home slices of the tree trunk as a memento to the saga, with each slice stamped with a “troll” drawing as part of the theme.

Over 200 people queued to receive a piece of the wood for free, including some tourists looking for a “real souvenir” of Strasbourg.

Parts of the wood will still also be donated to local associations who request it, for heating firewood or otherwise, and local businesses will also be able to use branches for their window and in-shop Christmas decorations.

The Mairie has confirmed that the next Christmas tree will be installed on Sunday and will be ready for the city’s Christmas market, which is set to open on November 24. It also said that no more “troll jokes” were planned for the time being.

“We made a good thing out of a bad situation. That’s the magic of Christmas,” said mayoral assistant Alain Fontanel.

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