The City of Athens completed its preparations for the Christmas holidays with the lighting of a spectacular Christmas tree at 19:15 on Thursday, December 1, at Syntagma square in downtown Athens, ANA reports.

The 21-meter-high Christmas tree, which traveled from the town of Karpenissi to Athens, was illuminated by 5km of 40,000 small lights and is decorated by hundreds of balls and other ornaments. 

This special holiday took an international character this year, as mayors from all over the world took part, along with Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis, in the lighting of the Christmas tree in Athens, sending a strong message of peace, unity, and solidarity between peoples.