Last night, Sunday evening, was the lighting of the town Christmas Tree. We were surprised how similar it was to others we have been to, yet pleasantly different in a Greek way.

The manger or creche contained school children dressed elaborately for their roles. The carols had familiar tunes with Greek words. The brass band were in their one and only uniform, that is the same one they wear on all occasions. The Mayor's speech was surprisingly short. Santa Claus was a minor figure; the emphasis was on the birth of Christ.

We were very impressed when two men lifted two of the younger manger characters to the stage who then spoke out loud and clear with prepared speeches that were several sentences long. These were pre-schoolers who were not affected by the crowd or the microphone and knew their parts perfectly.

We were also impressed when the tree lights came on. Before we had only noticed a string of large bulbs, yet the tree was completely covered with small lights. The large bulbs were just flashing blue highlights. The amazement was that coming on all at once they didn't blow a fuse for the whole town!

By the way, most people know that the buildings in the Cyclades are 95% blue and white. I find it interesting that blue lighting is as popular here as our English traditional red and green.

More later.

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