Christmas

Starry Night/ Τα Αστρα

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The addition of these stars on Dionysiou Areopagitou ( Διονυσίου Αρεοπαγίτου), street just below the Acropolis made for a great photographic opportunity. Great idea!

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”
Carl Sagan, Cosmos

The Honourable Gifts/Τα Τιμια Δωρα

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The gold has a lot of intricate detail. The incense are the little balls that look like olives above the gold.

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The popular telling of the story of the Three kings, also called wise men or magi is that they came from the east bearing their precious gifts for the young Jesus. The gifts were Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. The Frankincense symbolizes prayer, Myrrh symbolizes suffering and gold symbolizes virtue.

Many don’t know that the gifts still exist and are kept in a vault at the monastery of St Paulos at Mount Athos in Greece. In a rare move the “Timia Dora’ or ‘Honourable Gifts’ as the Orthodox Christians call them, were brought to western Athens to the church of St. Nektarios so that everyone can see them up close. They will be displayed in the church from the 27th until the 31st of this month.

The story of how the ‘Honurable Gifts’ made their way to the Holy Mountain (Mt. Athos) is a perilous one.  It is said that The Virgin Mary gave up many relics to the church in Jerusalem where they remained until the year 400 A.D.  That year the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius relocated the relics to the city of Constantinople to bless and protect the people and to promote the city. The gifts remained there until the city fell to the Franks in 1204 A.D.  There after, for safety reasons, they were taken to the town of Nikaia in Northwestern Asia Minor, the temporary capitol of Byzantium. The gifts would remain there for 60 years. After the crusaders retreated the relics returned to Constantinople until the city fell to the Turks in 1453 A.D.

After the fall of the city, a Christian woman named Mara Brankovic who was the daughter of the King of Serbia and who was married to the Ottoman Sultan Murat II, brought the relics to Mount Athos.  At the port she handed over the relics to the monks as as she was not allowed to enter as only men are allowed and only with written permission.

 

Merry Christmas!Kαλα Χριστουγεννα!

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I was lucky enough to capture Santa & his reindeers working hard to deliver those presents!

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The Athens Christmas tree, metallic ‘tree’ at Syndagma square in Athens is surrounded by poinsettias.

Το Χριστουγεννιάτικο δέντρο της Αθήνας, ενα μεταλλικό «δέντρο» στην πλατεία Συντάγματος, περιβάλλεται από αλεξανδριανά.

Merry Christmas! Kαλά Χριστούγεννα!

 

Merry Christmas!/Καλα Χριστουγεννα!

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Merry Christmas to my fellow bloggers! Καλά Χριστούγεννα στους μπλογκερς συναδέλφους  μου!

Good news from heaven the angels bring,
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.” ~ Martin Luther

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer more beautiful”.  Norman Vincent Peale

Happy New Year!/Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος!

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A display of beautiful Christmas flowers.

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I like this shop window!

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Merry Christmas to you too! Just lower your prices a little haha!

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It is a happy day when you see sweets like this.

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Coffee and socializing. It’s a Greek thing 😉

Happy New Year everyone! Wishing that 2015 will be a happier, peaceful and warmer (!) new year.

I went downtown last Sunday and I took a few photos of the craziness that is Athens during the Christmas season. I was lucky that I went downtown before the winter weather really hit us.  Today’s weather reminds me of the awful Canadian winters that I lived through as a child and that I would like to forget-but can’t! (urghhh) I enjoy the mild winters in Greece.  December felt like October; I was still racking leaves! Now, all of the mountains in Athens and the rest of Greece are covered in snow, and the Athenians are not pleased about that not one bit. Also, it wasn’t such a great end to the new year for Greece for a few reasons like the call for early elections that no one wants, the nautical catastrophe of the ship ‘Norman Atlantic’, and the ‘Canadian weather’. So, let us hope that next year will not be ‘doom and gloom’ as  some people say it will be. I’ll  just say that it is going to be a better year.. no a great year! ;))