HOLIDAY



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A worker places an ornament on a Christmas tree on the illuminated Syntagma square, during the coronavirus disease pandemic, in Athens, Saturday. [Stelios Misinas/Reuters]

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CULTURE

What color is the joy of Christmas? The sadness of the pandemic and grief for its victims? With those emotions running rampant these days, design firm Amigo & Amigo have translated feelings into colors with the installation “Parabolic Light Cloud.”

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The finishing touches are put to a Christmas tree in the Greek capital’s Omonia Square on Wednesday. Resisting the doom and gloom, Athens, Thessaloniki and other municipalities across the country are hoping to spread a spot of yuletide joy. In the capital, the municipal authority promises the brightest Christmas yet and plans to switch on the lights on its main tree, in Syntagma, this weekend. In hard-hit Thessaloniki, the municipality is preparing 5,500 care packages for people in need, as well as offering support to medical workers. Piraeus, meanwhile, promises to regale folks stuck at home with a big fireworks display on New Year’s. [InTime News]


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People stand in front of a light installations called Moongarden at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, in Athens, on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. Greece announced it is extending it lockdown through Dec. 14 with government officials saying it is too early to say when schools and businesses will reopen due to continued pressure on the state-run health service, with intensive care wards near capacity in parts of the country. [Petros Giannakouris/AP]

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At the time of year when most families usually start decorating their homes for the holiday season, Christmas trees are lined up at the Pedion tou Areos park in central Athens by growers hoping citizens will rise to the occasion. Last week, fir tree growers across Greece, which supply the country with Christmas trees during the holiday season, expressed concern over weakened demand, which has taken a serious knock due to the lockdown and its extension beyond December 1. If the lockdown is extended beyond next week, then they say they could suffer a serious blow because most Christmas trees are usually sold on December 1-15. [Pantelis Saitas/ANA-MPA]

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NEWS

Fir tree growers across Greece that supply the country with Christmas trees during the holiday season are anxiously waiting to see if the lockdown will be extended into December, as in that case the year will be lost for them because most consumers will have to make do with their own solutions.



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A crew member checks the body temperature of travelers boarding a ship in the port of Piraeus Friday, as Greeks set off for Saturday’s August 15 national holiday, the traditional peak in terms of people mobility in the summer. Trips to the Greek islands are carried out with all the precautionary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus. August 15, which celebrates the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, is considered a kind of summer Easter for Greeks. Churches and monasteries have been urged to stick to the strict health guidelines. Meanwhile, a temporary change of weather is forecast in the late afternoon in northern Greece with rain and storms. [Alexandros Vlachos/EPA]


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Children play at the Christmas Village theme park in downtown Thessaloniki on Monday evening. Apart from Santa’s workshop and performances by local theater troupes and music ensembles, the attraction on the northern port city’s charming waterfront includes a carousel and other fun seasonal activities for families living in or visiting for the holidays. Art installations also adorn Nikis, Tsimiski and Egnatia avenues. [Grigoris Siamidis/ANA-MPA]

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WHAT'S ON

The Athens State Orchestra will be on stage at the Athens Concert Hall on Saturday, December 21, for a very special evening filled with the spirit of Christmas.