Despite the pandemic this year, the mood was just as festive as families and businesses gathered in Chicago’s Greektown for a socially-distanced and safe tree-lighting ceremony– complete with traditional Greek holiday carols, the chimes of triangles and festive blue and white Santa hats.
Fr. Chrysanthos Kerkeres from St. George Greek Orthodox Church was on hand to bless the festivities, while children from the community sang the traditional carols proclaiming the birth of Jesus Christ, common in Greece during the holidays.
“Even during a pandemic, which has also hit our city and its businesses very hard, we managed to safely carry on this annual tradition and show our children the importance of our heritage and culture,” said Tia Angelos, the Program Director of the Greektown SSA, whose office is responsible for the event.
Commemorative ornaments, designed by local artist Panos Fiorentinos were passed out as a memento of the event– the fifth consecutive annual Christmas tree-lighting in the neighborhood and program books included lyrics to carols in Greek so people could sing along.
The tree-lighting ceremony coincided with the inauguration of a special art project that features thirty decorated boats, also known as “karavakia” in Greece.
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