Christmas in Athens 55 Years Ago (photos)

27 December 2015
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In December 1960, Athens was clean, shiny and wore its Christmas lights and decorations with gusto.

Two great photographers, Costas Balafas and Dimitris Harisiadis captured the Christmas spirit in Athens, in brilliant color and artistic black and white.

Athens had no need for a giant Christmas tree at Syntagma Square, concerts and street performances, or bright lights everywhere. The celebratory, optimistic mood of its citizens was bright enough to light Greece’s capital in the most splendid way.

Christmas gifts and acts of charity did not need corporate sponsoring. People gave from their hearts and dressing as Santa Claus was not a profession.

People gathered at Syntagma and Omonoia Squares and enjoyed the festive atmosphere, while the busy Panepistimiou and Stadiou streets were bustling with traffic as shoppers were rushing for their Christmas shopping.

(Pictures are from the Benaki Museum collection)

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