Athens city centre is very festive at this time of year. We were there 3 years ago and hope to get back yet this year. The press release below doesn’t give the full flavour of all the entertainment provided on the streets. There were countless unofficial performers, even a band from the Andes in South America, fun holiday booths, food galore and the tradition we have not seen elsewhere of Santa Clauses with ponies to ride.

I realise now that my photos and my words are not up to describing the glory and joy that one feels when surrounded by thousands of people all having a fun time. You have to be there.

Travel Daily News

Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis presented this year’s “Christmas in Athens” programme during a press conference at City Hall.Excerpts of Mayor Bakoyannis’ address follow:

“For all of us, but particularly our youngest citizens, the Christmas season is the most magical time of year.We want all children in Athens to experience the magic, colour and joy of the season and, for that reason, the municipality has organised for festive events to take place throughout the City of Athens. The city is once again being transformed into a Yuletide wonderland, where those of us who are young-at-heart can relive the fairytales of our youth.

Christmas in Athens is also very important for another reason. It presents an opportunity for us to promote the capital abroad and bring more tourists to the city, who, in turn, generate economic benefits. Following the successful staging of “Christmas in Athens” festivities over the past two years, we believe we have set the foundations for an institution unique to this country.

Our motto this year is “Christmas lights, trees and friends, the party in Athens never ends” and we invite all to join in the fun - to dance, play and celebrate! The party begins on December 15, when the Christmas tree at Syntagma Square will be lit, and continues through to January 8.

On December 17, Kotzia Square will come alive in the form of the Land of Gifts and Goodies. It will feature 52 miniature log cabins full of Christmas decorations and gift ideas, a Christmas tree and a second carousel.

At the Zappeion Gardens, one will encounter “The Crystal City” and within this wonderland is a 450-square metre ice-rink where all are welcome to test their skills on the ice.

On December 21, Omonia Square will get into the spirit of the season as the Sparkling Tree, a beautiful white Christmas tree adorned with thousands of shimmering lights, is illuminated.

And finally, the New Year’s Eve concert at Kotzia Square promises to be a rousing celebration with an exclusively Greek flavour.”


At December 16, 2005 4:28 PM xianfu said...

christmas at athens? Sounds fun!!! THe
photo looks nice..LOL.. Do leave a comment at my blog..Merry Christmas!! Best wishes....xian

At December 16, 2005 5:06 PM Chas Ravndal said...

The picture looks very inviting and quite festive as well. Hope I can visit Athens soon and of course will visit Paros as well .


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