Κυριακή 5 Ιανουαρίου 2020

Thessaloniki to Celebrate New Chinese “Year of the Rat” at Royal Theater

Still photo from the performance of the spectacular Chinese show. Credit: AMNA
The northern Greek city of Thessaloniki will celebrate the new Chinese “Year of the Rat” on January 6th with a performance by one of China’s major dance companies – the Chongqing Liangjiang Art Troupe – at the city’s Royal Theater.
The evening will feature amazingly-talented Chinese acrobats and jugglers as well as a ballet and works from the Beijing Opera which will transport the audience to the splendor of the Orient by immersing them into a new world of color, motion and music.
This show, called “Happy Chinese New Year,” will mark the fourth time that the noted dance company has visited Greece’s second-largest city.
The show representing Beijing constitutes an example of the depth of the cultural interaction between Greece and China in the context of Greek-Chinese cultural exchange in recent years.
As part of their New Year traditions, Chinese people wear new clothes on that day to symbolize a new start and fresh hopes for the coming year. Their lucky color is red, which represents optimism and a festive attitude, according to ancient tradition.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Stefanos Tsitsipas Among Top 20 European Athletes for 2019

Greek athletes Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stefanos Tsitsipas were included on the list of the top 20 European athletes for 2019, as compiled by sportswriters from the European press agencies.
The winner of the award for the best European sportsman/sportswoman for 2019 is Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain. Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal took second place, and Austrian alpine ski racer Marcel Hirscher came in third.
The Greek Freak took ninth place, with 46 votes, while young tennis sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas came in twentieth, with 17 nods.
A total of twenty-six press agencies took part in the poll, including AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE (France), AGERPRES (Romania), ANADOLU AJANSI (Turkey), ANP (Netherlands), ANSA (Italy), APA (Austria), ATHENS NEWS AGENCY (Greece), BELGA (Belgium), BTA (Bulgaria), CTK (Czech Republic), DPA (Germany), EFE (Spain), ELTA (Lithuania), HINA (Croatia), LUSA (Portugal), MNA (Malta), MOLDPRES (Moldova), MTI (Hungary), SID (Germany), STA (Slovenia), STT (Finland), TANJUG (Serbia), TASR (Slovakia), TASS (Russia), UKRINFORM (Ukraine) and PAP (Poland).
The list of the top 20 European athletes for 2019 is as follows:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Formula 1, 151 points.
2. Rafael Nadal (Spain) – tennis, 140
3. Marcel Hirscher (Austria) – alpine skiing, 76
4. Novak Djokovic (Serbia) – tennis, 71
5. Sifan Hassan (Holland) – track and field, 69
6. Virgil van Dijk (Holland) – football, 61
7. Karsten Warholm (Norway) – track and field, 47
– Marc Marquez (Spain) – motoGP, 47
9. Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) – basketball, 46
10. Johannes Tingnes Boe (Norway) – biathlon, 44
11. Therese Johaug (Norway) – Nordic skiing, 43
12. Dina Asher-Smith (Great Britain) – track and field, 32
13. Katinka Hosszu (Hungary) – swimming, 31
14. Mariya Lasickiene (Russia) – track and field, 27
15. (Tie) Adam Peaty (Great Britain) – swimming, 22
– Luka Doncic (Slovenia) – basketball, 22
– Johannes Klaebo (Norway) – Nordic skiing, 22
18. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) – football, 19
19. Niklas Kaul (Germany) – track and field, 18
20. Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) – tennis, 17

News from Greece

Τετάρτη 1 Ιανουαρίου 2020

Nymphaio, The Fairy-Tale Village of Northern Greece (video)

Nymphaio is a beautiful village located just outside Florina in West Macedonia, Greece. It has been often included on lists of the “Ten Most Beautiful Villages of Europe” in travel guides. It has also won UNESCO’s “Melina Mercouri International Prize” for its excellent management of the area’s cultural heritage and the surrounding natural environment.
Nymphaio, which lies at an altitude of 1,360 meters (4,462 feet) is nestled along the slopes of Mt. Verno (also known as Mt. Vitsi), surrounded by dense forests.
Its unique architecture, impressive mansions made of stone, stone-paved streets and the incredible natural beauty of the surrounding area captivate all visitors to Nymphaio. The village has thankfully been able to maintain its original character, as all new buildings must strictly follow traditional forms of architecture.
Vlach nomads were the first people recorded to have settled here, in the early 1300s, and the town was formerly known as Niviesta or Nevesta all the way up to 1929. Beginning in the late 17th century, the town became one of the largest silversmithing centers in the Balkans, and it remained dominant in that industry for almost three centuries.

A reconstructed traditional mansion in Nymphaio. Source: Wikipedia

The glory days of Nymphaio are reflected in the impressive stone built mansions located all around the village. Although Nymphaio was affected by outmigration in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it has been revived today by the return of its people who wanted to come back to their roots in this ancient and beautiful mountain village.
The nearby village of Zazari and Cheimaditida Lake delimit an area of exceptional natural beauty in Florina. Nymphaio is a beautiful and vibrant place which offers visitors unique experiences, but at the very same time, it is a great example of the deliberate, careful type of tourism development which has taken place in the last two decades.
The two nearby natural lakes, two of the largest in Florina, are worth visiting as they are home to hundreds of species of birds, mammals and fish as well as the ferruginous duck, which is protected as an endangered species.
Apart from its charming architecture and natural landscape, Nymphaio offers many activities for those who are lucky enough to visit. The ARCTUROS shelter, constructed by this non-governmental organization which protects brown bears, is located in a natural beech forest and is home to ten bears who formerly lived in captivity.
Another interesting place to visit is the village’s picturesque Goldsmith, Folklore and History Museum, which includes authentic local furniture, traditional tools for jewelry making, and, of course, an array of jewels.

News from Greece

Greece Aims to Open the Amphipolis Tomb to Visitors by 2022

File photo

The Greek government intends to bring forward the deadlines for completing work on the Kasta Hill Tomb in Amphipolis, Serres so that the site can have visitors from early 2022 on, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni announced on Saturday.
During a tour of the site along with Central Macedonia Governor Apostolos Tzitzikostas, the culture minister noted that due to the size and layout of the tomb the monument could receive groups of five to six visitors at a time.
After the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) unanimously approved the study for restoring the tomb and its surroundings on December 17, Mendoni noted that the first phase of the work can be completed six months earlier than the original deadline, in June 2021 instead of early 2022.
The minister also underlined her determination to work tirelessly to ensure that the deadlines can be brought forward, saying that everything was ready for the work to continue without obstruction after the completion of the first phase.
Asked when the monument could open for the general public, Mendoni said that there is much that needs to be done and pointed out that it had taken 20 years for the tomb of Philip in Vergina to open to the public, though modern means can make it possible to take less time to complete necessary works at the Amphipolis site.
“I live for the day the Lion of Amphipolis will be transferred to the Kasta tomb,” the regional governor said. “That will happen too,” was the culture minister’s answer.
Architect Michalis Lefantzis, who guided the minister and the regional governor around the site, noted that 330 large slabs of marble that were structural elements of the enclosure around the Kasta hill tomb had been transferred back there from the site of the Lion of Amphipolis, where they had been stacked in order to facilitate the excavation.
The slabs have now been placed next to each other like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, waiting for their precise position in the original structure of the enclosure to be determined.
After a meeting with the excavation staff, the culture minister appeared optimistic about the rate of progress but asked them to have a university team to resume the stalled examination of the bones found on the site.

News from Greece