Soaring infections rattle Europe, fuel dread about holidays

Soaring infections in Britain driven in part by the omicron variant of the coronavirus rattled Europe on Thursday, prompting new restrictions on the Continent and fueling a familiar dread on both sides of the Atlantic about entering a new phase of the pandemic just in time for the holidays.

Christmas tree lights up in Syntagma Square

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]

Colors of the times inspire SNFCC light installations

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.”

A spot of cheer in the gloom

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]

SNFCC sets up light installations for the holiday season

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]