Christmas is a time for reflection. Sparkling lights are hung from trees, kids are excited by the thought of Santa Claus, nostalgia fills the air and glamorous parties are in full swing. It’s a lovely time of year, especially in the city of Athens. Here in the ancient Greek capital, it’s a little different, with a focus on culture and contemporary art. The city has its own Christmas festival which brings a bit more sparkle every year. Walk into any square or neighborhood and you’ll find a festive atmosphere, filled with possibility. The city itself becomes adorned, with trees and decorations, concerts and unique celebrations for December 25th and continuing to big parties on New Year’s Eve.
Syntagma Square: The center of the city, Syntagma Square is also the core of the Christmas festivities. The city’s huge Christmas tree towers over the square, while the traditional carousel brings smiles to the young and not so young friends who come to visit. In the Square throughout the month of December, visitors will find an oasis of music and classic jazz tunes, Christmas songs from around the world, Byzantine hymns, ethnic music and traditional dances.
National Garden: The enchanting forest-like national park is a top choice for Christmas fun. In the last few years there have been festive markets selling trinkets and decorations and stalls offering delicious traditional Greek foods like loukoumades (a must have!) The park is a great way of seeing the city if you’ve got kids in tow and Santa himself might even make an appearance.
Technopolis: A huge former gasworks, is a cultural hub in the city and no time is more appropriate than Christmas. The venue is in Gazi, a bustling neighborhood filled with bars, clubs and restqaurants. Technopolis is host to parties for kids mostly but also for big children.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013