Christmas in Greece

By Swathi Ramaswamy on Jan 08, 2019
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Greece is a country known for its classical roots in ancient history. Pre-Christian and therefore a pagan society, the country accepted Christianity as centuries went by. Today it celebrates the birth of Christ with enthusiasm that not only matches the rest of the world but exceeds it in certain respects. Its pagan history and rich cultural heritage is not obliterated but incorporated in its festive celebrations, giving Christmas in Greece a unique appeal of its own. For instance, in Greece, the most popular Christmas decoration is not the Christmas tree, as is the case in other parts of the world. As an island in the Mediterranean, the main holiday decorations of Greece are, appropriately, a boat or ship. There are many such peculiarities which provide a different experience of the holiday in the country. Here is a list of attractions that the country has to offer in the yuletide season:

1. The Christmas Factory

At Technopolis, Gazi, in the heart of the city of Athens, is a location with fairy tale ambiance that brings delight to the hearts of adults and children alike. This is the famous Christmas Factory, where kids can have the surreal experience of meeting Santa Claus. Usually held from the 28th of November to the 6th of January, there is a wide variety of experiences available here. Various workshops provide a fun, educational experience, and the Ferris wheel, carousel and other rides promise a thrilling time. Santa along with his assistants can be seen attending to his guests with playful elves around him who create mischief as well. There is plenty to do, for the young and the old, and an experience that one should not miss out on. So, be part of all these Christmas events in Greece when here! 

2. Oneiroupoli

Greece is known as the famous Drama city within its borders. And during the season of Christmas, the Drama city displays within itself the 'Oneiroupoli' or the city of dreams. In Eleftheria Square from 4th of December continuing on till January, this is Santa's house with surrounding wooden houses that are equally picturesque. Workshops, music concerts, and theatrical performances promise an amazing time. The most unique feature here is the House of Fairies and Elves which makes it one of the top Christmas celebrations in Greece.

3. Museum of Acropolis

As the capital of Athens lights up to the Christmas season, the grand museum of the city takes part in the festivities. Hosting a collection of rare and precious artifacts, the museum takes on the garb of Christmas from mid-December (16th- 17th December) offering an array of splendid experiences. One remarkable event is the Lego centered event for children. White blocks of Legos are available to children at the museum during Christmas allowing them to build their own temples. This tradition brings together the pagan traditions of the country with its Christian present in perfect synergy. 

4. Magical Mill of the Elves

This is an event held in the city of Trikala, one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and is a magical experience surrounding Santa's house and a Post Office for the elves. Usually held from November 27th to January 3rd, it gives a creative corporeal form to the myth of Christmas. A major winter highlight for the city the venue has various rides, children’s activities and artistic events, a source of entertainment for kids and adults alike.

5. Chocolate Factory Theme Park Athens

Located in Athens, the chocolate adventure theme park records a journey through the setting of the Amazon jungle and what appears as a mad scientist's chocolate lab. An ideal place to visit for the entire family, the chocolate theme park engages chocoholics through endeavors like handmade caramel workshops with interactive learning sessions. The entire process of chocolate production is covered in these workshops, right from its very beginning. The Chocolate Factory remains open to patrons all through Christmas, well into the New year, till February.

6. Skiing at Arachova

Arachova is a place in Greece that allows visitors to go skiing through its terrain. With other attractions for tourists like sauna and spa facilities in wooden chalets, the place facilitates both self-pampering, relaxation, and exercise. The local bars in the area are open all through the night until the first hours of the morning. After an eventful Christmas, visiting Arachova is a great way of rounding off the vacation.

Greece Christmas offers a variety of events which are a far cry from the quiet family Christmas that is the norm all over the world. While that is satisfying in its own right, the Greek celebrations are also something that an individual must experience at least once!

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