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Lviv spins colourful yarn ahead of big day

Saturday is a big day for Lviv, but not content with hosting Germany's meeting with Portugal, the city is also embracing International Yarn Bombing Day – with spectacular consequences.

Germany and Portugal (in knitted form) take their place on Lviv's Shevchenko Avenue
Germany and Portugal (in knitted form) take their place on Lviv's Shevchenko Avenue ©Cyfrasport

Lviv has been unseasonably cold over recent days but the decision to adorn the city's pretty maple trees with a vivid array of colourful knitwear seemed overcautious in the extreme. Yet all is not what it seems, for not only is Saturday 9 June the day when the gaze of Europe falls on this small city for the UEFA EURO 2012 meeting between Germany and Portugal, it is also International Yarn Bombing Day.

For the uninitiated, Yarn Bombing is the practice of dressing trees, bridges and other public structures in knitted or crocheted yarn. The movement emerged in the United States in 2004, spreading to Europe via the Netherlands. It arrived in Lviv and Ukraine 12 months ago, and this year, with the UEFA European Championship in town, they have rolled out the project to consume much of Shevchenko Avenue.

It is an arresting sight, with some of the branch and trunk sleeves as long as 40 metres. Best still, the sense of the 'other' occasion to grace the city on Saturday has not been lost on the organisers: the trees have been dressed in the colours of UEFA EURO 2012's 16 participating nations. For those who are interested, the weaving on the designated German tree is typically cohesive and tight-knit, but Portugal's has a real flair about it. Happy Yarn Bombing Day.