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Join holiday events spreading cheer from Athens to New York to Vamvakou

Nov 29, 2023
Four holiday happenings in three cities on two continents make for one festive season of events supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)! (Seven swans a-swimming, six geese a-laying, and five golden rings not included.)

As nights turn longer and temperatures colder, events in New York and Greece that are open to all will light up the darkness, get us moving, and get us together.

First, on Friday, December 1, people of all ages in Athens and New York—and online anywhere—will have a chance to experience free holiday magic that transcends borders. At the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens, the SNFCC Christmas World will come to life in a brilliant blaze of festive lights to the sounds of traditional carols from the El Sistema Greece Youth Choir and of an “Afrofuturistic Christmas Wonderland” from Harlem’s Mwenso and the Shakes. Visitors will smell the fresh scent of evergreens in the SNFCC Agora, glide and whirl on the ice-skating rink at the Canal, and watch the Canal fountains dance like sugarplum fairies, starting at 7 p.m. EEST. The SNFCC Christmas world opening celebration will be streamed live on the SNF website, in addition to airing on Greek national broadcaster ERT2.

Then, faster than a sleigh pulled by nine prancing reindeer, the SNFCC seasonal spectacular will make its way to New York to deck the [concert] halls. At 6 p.m. EST that same day, it will be broadcast in the lobby of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. Both the concert in Athens and the broadcast in New York are taking place as part of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation-Lincoln Center Agora Initiative, which joins the two iconic public spaces as “Twin Agoras,” a collaboration SNF is incredibly proud to support.

The celebration continues without even a single silent night intervening. The very next afternoon, on December 2 at 5:30 p.m., the holiday spirit recrosses the Atlantic for a free tree-lighting ceremony and concert in the Greek mountain village of Vamvakou hosted by the Vamvakou Revival team. The angelic sounds of the Greek National Opera’s Intercultural Choir will accompany the tree lighting, and an evening of dancing and activities for kids will be capped off by a jolly, jingling concert from Foivos Delivorias and friends. And if you can't make it to Vamvakou in person, you can always watch the event live on our site.

Bookending the month, the SNF RUN: 2024 FIRST RUN, which starts just after the turn of the year, offers a chance to start 2024 on the right foot with a 3K run around the SNFCC Christmas World. Runners won’t just be working off some of those milk and cookies; they’ll be getting together for a good cause, supporting the work of two Greek nonprofits that aid children in need. Registration opens on December 1.

And the fun doesn't stop here. Throughout December, both the SNFCC and Vamvakou will offer a number of open events for everyone.

We hope you’ll join us for a glittering good time at these brilliant holiday events!