Balloons and their strings slightly obscure the view of residents in Thessaloniki yesterday as they walk through Aristotelous Square, which is the northern city’s main square and also the heart of its Christmas celebrations. Earlier this month, Thessaloniki’s Christmas tree was unveiled in the square. It is one of the biggest natural Christmas trees in Europe, standing 22.5 meters tall. However, the tree is also accompanied by a giant illuminated three-mast ship, which has been part of the city’s celebrations since 1999. Wooden boats, decorated with small lamps and a few ornaments, are traditional symbols of Christmas in Greece.