The program of this year's events was edited by the Municipality's Culture, Sports & Youth Organization (OPANDA) and Technopoli, in collaboration with This is Athens and the radio station Athens 9.84, while the actions of "Olympia, Municipal Musical Theater Maria" have a special place Kallas", as well as the new cultural spaces, the Municipal Market of Kypseli, the Maria Kallas Museum and the Athens Book Space in the reformed Freedom Park.
Events include, among others, educational programs and workshops for children and families, music in live concerts and parties, musical theater performances, book launches and readings, events inspired by books and museum exhibitions, as well as ten "Christmas villages" with unique holiday surprises in each .
"The Municipality of Athens is again this year carrying the festive spirit of Christmas from one end of the city to the other. A program full of music, special performances and hundreds of surprises awaits young and old to celebrate the brightest time of the year. Happy holidays with health and love to everyone", said the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis.
The "Christmas Villages" in ten neighborhoods
From December 23 to January 6, ten "Christmas Villages" in as many neighborhoods will offer rich activities for young and old. From Acharnon and Lamprini to Pagrati and Hellinorosson, Santa Claus and his elves will "transform" some of the most central neighborhoods into "villages" of joy and celebration, they will welcome young and old children with constructions, sweet treats , face painting and many more festive events. The events are accompanied by, among others, stilt walkers, jugglers, mascots, animateurs, puppets and jugglers.
Athens is full of music
Syntagma Square will once again "dance" to the rhythm of Christmas this year. For seven days, a total of 15 live concerts by local artists, bands and bands will take place on the main Christmas music stage. The George Zervos Trio, The Wedding Singers, Hermaphrodites Child, Vasilis Kazoulis with Kitrina Podilata and Alexandra Koniak, Dimitris Tsakas Quintet, Polkar, Gumbo Ya Ya with Sugahspank and Emily Mesko, Nefeli Fasouli, Sub Quartet, Panos Vlachos, Jerome Kaluta, the Mihalis Kalkanis Group, the Christmas Gala with the voices of Maria Katrivesis and Yiannis Housakos, Jaguar Bombs and Tonis Sfinos & The Playmates, promise to lift the festive mood.
Parties will be set up again this year in unexpected places of the city. The Mobile Party Needless will turn the Square of Justice (Santaroza) into a Christmas dancefloor, the radio station Kosmos will set up a "Xmas Party" specially dedicated to the magazine "Schedia" at the Municipal Market of Kypseli, the Cool Crips at the Serafion of the Municipality of Athens, the Stoa Emporon is transformed by Pepper 96.6 into a fun spot, while on Christmas day, the "Xmas Extravaganza" & Beyond at the Kypseli Municipal Market with dynamic beats by favorite selectors and DJs.
At the same time, at the "Olympia, Maria Callas Municipal Music Theater" the popular operetta by Nikos Hadziapostolos "Apachides of Athens", directed by Vassilis Mavrogeorgiou and musical direction by Cornelios Michaelides, with the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the Municipality of Athens.
The same venue will host the concert of Thodoris Kotonias and Savveria Margiolas, as well as "Christmas in New York" by the Athens Big Band, while the cultural spaces of OPANDA and the Polychoros "Anna and Maria Kalouta" will be "flooded" for throughout the holidays with Christmas songs, traditional melodies, but also concerts for children.
Finally, on the festive days, the ATHINA 9.84 van will fill the neighborhoods of Athens with Christmas music and children's choirs. His stops include the Benaki Museum on Piraeus Street, as for one morning he will musically "dress up" the educational activities surrounding the exhibition of Giorgos Chatzimihalis, while on 20-28/12 he will decorate the Syntagma with his music. Especially for December 20, the city's radio station joins forces with "Together for the Child" in the Christmas radio marathon supporting families and children in need.
The magic of the book "travels" young and old
Fairy tales have their "honorary" every Christmas, which is why the new cultural space of the Municipality of Athens, the Athens Book Space in Eleftheria Park, invites young and old to "get lost" in the magic of the pages. Children will enjoy activities that combine the reading of fairy tales and stories from around the world with comics, music, and even chess, in separate and highly original workshops, while adults will have the opportunity to take part in a creative reading workshop, in the Reading Club of Classical Literature, as well as to attend discussions and analyzes of poetry collections and novels by writers and journalists.
At the same time, the Municipal Market of Kypseli will also be "seduced" by the magic of the book, as it hosts the Christmas book markets of Psychogios Publications and the Booktopia group, while the Children's and Adolescent Library will dedicate an educational program to the life and work of Charles Dickens.
Museum tours and exhibitions with free entry
To celebrate its first Christmas, the city's new museum, the "Maria Callas Museum", opens its doors for a double guided tour with free entry (phone reservation required). Participants will discover the world of the great diva, opera and lyrical theatre, through a path of experiential experience, enriched by audio-visual media, texts, new technologies, audio and historical evidence.
At the same time, the first concert in its premises comes from the Athenian Quintet "Dimitrios Dounis", where in the two performances "Christmas Visions" they will present a festive program with Christmas suites from the Renaissance to the present day, written by Greek and foreign composers.
At the Arts Center will be held the solo exhibition of Kostas Bassanou entitled "Working Title", which deals with the invisible creative space of artistic production, while at the Athens Municipality Art Gallery the first retrospective exhibition of the painter Alexis Kyritsopoulos entitled "Parallel", with works from in 1963 to date.
The Museum of Folk Art and Tradition "Aggeliki Hatzimichalis" will present the exhibition of handmade weavings "The Feathered Weaves of Ossa Thessaloniki", while on New Year's Eve it will organize a folkloric holiday tour of the Hatzimichalis mansion.
Finally, the "Melina" Cultural Center organizes for visitors over 60 a nostalgic cultural walk through the city's past, starting from the permanent exhibition "Travelling of old Athens", continuing to the story-filled Thisio and the pedestrian street of Heraklion and ending in the exhibition "Eureka: Science, Art & Technology of the Ancient Greeks" of the Heraklion Museum.
Night of Wishes - Atmospheric Christmas Revival in Kotzia Square
"Wishing Night" has now become a beloved Christmas Eve custom. On December 24, young and old will "light up" Kotzia Square with traditional biodegradable lanterns, which will travel to the sky carrying wishes. On this magical Christmas night, the atmospheric melodies will come from the van of the ATHINA 9.84 station, which will musically "dress up" the event with selections from its radio producers.
We welcome 2024 from Syntagma Square
On New Year's Eve, the appointment is of course given at Syntagma Square. Hosted by the duo of ERT's "Studio 4", Nancy Zampetoglou and Thanasis Anagnostopoulos, the world will say goodbye to 2023 with an audio-visual extravaganza full of live music, dance, fireworks, glitter and many surprises, and welcome 2024 with optimism and joy (the line-up of the first live concert of the year will be announced soon).
New Year's Eve Party
The biggest New Year's party will take place again this year in Varvakeio. Just before the change of time, Street Outdoors will be waiting for the people in the most central Agora of the city, where DJs and producers will turn wishes into music, so that 2024 will find the citizens in the most danceable party in the heart of Athens until early morning hours.
(More information and detailed schedule of events: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dZu_niqAliBNrZAoyPCg_WpkUNqfs_sHI8b01tJ3Ufo/edit?usp=sharing)