Celebrating Christmas & New Year’s Eve In Greece is like finding yourself inside an expressionist work of art: decorated Christmas trees, shiny ornaments, and traditional “karavákia” (small ships) decked with blue and white lights illuminate streets, parks, shopping areas and neighbourhoods.
Ahead of 2017, the Greek capital is celebrating Christmas and New Year’s with numerous events to get the holiday pulse racing in parks, squares and along pedestrian walkways. Athens Mayor Goerge Kaminis is inviting everyone to get into the Christmas mood and enjoy a variety of celebrations all around the city. This year’s festivities include concerts,art events, theatre performances, story-telling activities, workshops for children, and many more happenings taking place around the city as well as in museums and cultural institutions.
Here are some highlights:
‘The Christmas Factory’ (Technopolis Gazi area)
For a 4th year in a row, the Christmas Factory of Athens is the biggest Christmas Bazaar of the Country! Totally enchanted by the festive period, allow us to welcome you in a firytale scenery full of joy and happiness. Visit the festive cityof Athens and allow us to journey you to the finest Christmas feelings.
Details on the program: http://thechristmasfactory.gr/
‘Around the World in 80 days’ (Megaron – Athens Concert Hall)
A thrilling theatrical adventure for travellers of all ages… The exciting Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne is returning to the stage of The Megaron. A musical-theatrical performance for young and old alike, featuring a big cast with action and humour, live music and video sequences.
Details on the program: http://www.megaron.gr/default.asp?pid=5&la=2&evID=3246
‘Peter Pan on Ice’ (Tae Kwon Do Hall – Faliro Olympic Complex)
Peter Pan, the beloved hero of all children, visits Athens for a single performance on ice with the famous Russian Ice Stars. For the first time in Greece, this great production comes to Faliro Olympic Indoor Hall with all the necessary equipment, props and an 800sqm ice rink, allowing viewers to watch the show at 360 degrees. This way, young and old friends of Peter Pan will be able to enjoy the performance to the fullest.
Details on the program: http://www.artandlife.gr/en/Athina-peter_pan_on_ice_sto_taekwondo_kleisto_palaioy_faliroy
‘The Snow Queen’ (Onassis Cultural Centre)
Who’s afraid of the Snow Queen? One of Hans Christian Andersen’s best-known tales has been turned into an opera to warm the hearts of children and all those who remain young at heart.
Details on the program: http://www.sgt.gr/eng/SPG1472/
‘Giselle’ (Greek National Opera – Olympia Theatre)
Giselle, one of the Romantic period’s most famous ballets with dreamlike music by Adolf Adam, is returning to the Greek National Opera choreography by Irek Mukhamedov, based on Marius Petipa’s classic version.
Details on the program: http://www.nationalopera.gr/en/event/zizel-dec-2016/
‘The Barber of Seville’ (Greek National Opera – Olympia Theatre)
Rossini’s work The Barber of Seville, the most famous Italian comic opera, returns to the Greek National Opera in Francesco Micheli’s subversive production which was first presented with great success during last year’s artistic period. The Greek National Opera production, which was also staged with great success last winter by the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, brings Figaro’s tale into the digital age, and sheds light on Rosina’s world which lies somewhere between dream and reality. With the Orchestra, Choir of the Greek National Opera.
Details on the program: http://www.nationalopera.gr/en/event/o-koureas-tis-sevillis-feb-mar-2017/
‘Viennese Waltz in a Christmas Athens” (Megaron – Athens Concert Hall)
The curtain of Christmas opens in Athens with Viennese waltzes and the participation of the Johann Strauss Ensemble Chamber Orchestra. The Friends of Music Association and the famous Johann Strauss Ensemble Chamber Orchestra under the direction of the gifted violinist, Russell McGregor, present two brilliant concerts that will take us to the magical Vienna. The flower-decorated stage of the Athens Concert Hall will be filled with the melodies and rhythms of the beloved Viennese music. With the most beautiful waltzes, melodic arias and popular polkas of the Strauss family other composers, we celebrate Christmas in Athens with a Vienna aroma.
Details on the program: http://www.megaron.gr/default.asp?pid=5&la=1&evID=3327
‘The Magic Depot of Santa Claus’ (Palio Amaksostasio O.SY > Gkazi – Votanikos – Kerameikos)
The “magic depot of Santa Claus” comes for the first time in the heart of Athens and invites us to help Santa Claus distribute gifts to all the children of Athens! This Christmas, let’s wonder at the illuminated ice rink, tour in the land of Magi and jump on Santa Claus’ train. The event includes concerts, children’s plays, trampoline, delicacies from the home of Santa, as well as cup cakes. Sail on the lake with the boats from the North Pole and forget about the outside world for several hours! A magical, enclosed, 5,000 m² Christmas park, full of magic, adventure and games for children, but also for all those who feel like children!
• Wizards, elves, clowns
• Face -painting
• Christmas recipes
• The Post-Office of Santa Claus
Details on the program: http://www.artandlife.gr/en/Athina-to_magiko_amaksostasio_toy_agioy_basili
‘The Nutcracker’ (Piraeus Municipal Theater)
One of the most classic Christmas tales: The Nutcracker! The favorite and world famous ballet, with the wonderful music of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, becomes alive by the famous Russian Ballet Theater at Piraeus Municipal Theatre, generously spreading joy to everyone. The story takes place on Christmas Eve in a German city where little Clara is waiting for a gift from her godfather. Opening it, she sees a soldier used for cracking nuts. When all the guests leave, Clara enters the living room to help her soldier settle. As the clock strikes midnight, the girl falls asleep and she travels to a magical world where toys come to life and battle against huge rats. In this battle, the Nutcracker is declared the winner and he is transformed into a handsome prince. In the second act, we see Clara and the Nutcracker-Prince taking on a magical journey, first in the country of Snow Queen and then the Land of Sweets and Sugar Plum Fairy. The dream does not last long. At Christmas dawn, little Clara wakes up and discovers that the charming prince of her dreams has transformed into the nutcracker again.
Details on the program: http://www.artandlife.gr/en/Athina-karyothraystis_sto_dimotiko_theatro_peiraia
‘National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens (Fix area)
The surviving part of the old FIX brewery is repaired, reinforced and laid out specifically to meet the needs of the EMST. The building’s two façades on Syngrou Avenue and Frantzi Street, designed by Takis Zenetos, are classified as ‘listed’ and must remain intact, and this was a main parameter in the new museum’s internal layout and operation. The course of Kallirrois Avenue along the bed of river Ilissos inspired the design of a large perpendicular surface of roughly-hewn marble that leans against a wet wall/waterfall. The fourth side of the building, towards the Metro station, is not treated as a façade but as an unfinished structure awaiting completion after the demolition of the old part of the Fix brewery. The internal layout is based on a large circulation area that runs parallel to Syngrou Avenue. The escalators and lifts are placed in this area to form a pronounced diagonal axis that leads from the reception areas on the ground floor to the open-air spaces on the upper floor, connecting all exhibition areas. The museum’s two entrances, the main one on Kallirrois Avenue and the secondary one of Syngrou Avenue, also establish a diagonal path along the ground-floor plan. The multilevel staircase and the escalators form a luminous circulation space that spans the entire height of the building. The specifications for exhibition spaces dictated their positioning in the part of the building with the most advantageous dimensions, on the Kallirrois Avenue side. These spaces lie behind the façade with the main entrance, which the new museum’s trademark. On the 7th and 8th of May 2015 EMST moved its administrative offices and its equipment on the first floor of the new building, thus taking the first step towards the opening of the museum, which is expected in a few months.
Details on the program: http://www.emst.gr/en/museum/the-fix-building/
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC)
Italian architect Renzo Piano has finished a major new park, library and theatre complex in Athens, following one of the largest donations for a cultural building project in history. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) will be completed and delivered to the Greek State in 2017, offering a new landmark for the 21st century. It invites us all to enjoy the arts, sports, and nature, to embrace knowledge, and to establish creative communities that will be open to everyone. Located at the Faliro Delta, right where the city meets the sea, the SNFCC consists of the new state-of-the-art facilities for the National Library of Greece and the Greek National Opera as well as the 42 acre Stavros Niarchos Park. As one of the most significant cultural and environmental projects to be undertaken in Greece, the SNFCC is a prime example of a public-private partnership aimed toward the common good and is a unique public resource that will upgrade both the city and the country. With this €566 million grant, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) makes today, at a critical junction in the country’s history, a significant cultural investment declaring its commitment to contribute to the prosperity and progress of Greece. Renzo Piano grasped the significance of this project through his deep understanding of the city’s history, geography, rhythm, and atmosphere.
Details on the program: http://www.snfcc.org/default.aspx