Photo taken on Dec. 10, 2019 shows the scene of 3D projection on the facade of the Greek Parliament during a tree lighting ceremony on Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece. The festive season kicked off in Athens with the tree lighting ceremony on Syntagma Square on Tuesday. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
ATHENS, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The festive season kicked off in Athens with the lighting tree ceremony in Syntagma square in front of the Greek parliament on Tuesday.
Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis gave the signal for the official illumination of the 17-meter natural Christmas tree.
Celebrations started with a 3-D projection mapping on the facade of Parliament and an open-air concert featuring famous Greek artists.
"Come rain or shine, the tree will light up," the mayor addressed the crowd that braved the rainfall.
Following an invitation issued by the City of Athens, businesses, institutions and associations "adopted" avenues, streets and neighborhoods in the Greek capital to sponsor the Christmas decorations for this year under the "Adopt your city" program.
The aim was to have more areas and neighborhoods with festive lighting, not just the center of the city.
A total of 30 public squares in the Greek capital were decorated, along with 81 streets and avenues.
With the contribution of private and public entities, organizations and societies, the total budget of the holiday celebrations reached an amount of 800,000 euros (887,560 U.S dollars).
Besides the concerts and various events at city squares and neighborhoods, this year's festivities include open-air screenings, a fairy tale like village, an illuminated trail and lots of surprises, according to the city's office. (1 euro= 1.11 U.S dollars)