Oneiroupoli: The Christmas village in Drama, Greece spreading the festive spirit

Once a year, the city of Drama in Greece’s northeast becomes a winter wonderland with a Christmas village known as Oneiroupoli (‘Dreamland’) lighting up the town.

The annual festival attraction has been bringing joy to young and old alike ever since it first began in 2003. 

The festival takes place at the central square of Drama and runs for a month each year, commencing on December 4, which is the feast day of Saint Barbara (Drama’s patron saint), up until January 7. 

The people of Drama are proud to be a part of the city’s festivities, with one particular local not missing a single year of Oneiroupoli’s magic.

Photo: Greek transfer services.

‘Oneiroupoli brings life to Drama’:

29-year-old Sofoklis Tselebis has lived in Drama for most of his life and has been to Oneiroupoli more times than he can remember.

“I was there the very first time it opened and I visit Oneiroupoli every year to see how it’s different,” Sofoklis tells The Greek Herald.

“When it first started, it was just like a big village with a market. Each year it got bigger and better, adding many attractions and rides for the kids, as well as music events and stalls for adults.

“It feels like you are in a dream when you are walking around the village. I love the way the little wooden houses are decorated and the trees are all lit up.”

Over the years, Oneiroupoli has become a great tourist attraction, and the locals love the attention it’s brought to their city.

“For us locals, we love Oneiroupoli because it brings life to Drama and it gives us a break from our usual routine, but we also really love to see tourists visiting and being amazed by our city,” Sofoklis says.

With so many different attractions including Santa’s House, a carousel and an ice rink, one could mistake Oneiroupoli as a theme park built just for little kids.

Instagram: Oneiroupoli_dramas

Sofoklis says this is not the case.

“There are many stalls with delicious home-made food, there are live performances and events, and there is also a lot of alcohol available for the parents or adults to have their fun,” he says.

For Sofoklis, there is one particular reason why he keeps coming back every year with his family and friends.

The entrance to Oneiroupoli. Credit: Greek transfer services

“My personal favourite is the stall that sells fresh home-made pies. Conveniently it’s right next to the stall that sells mulled wine, so the pie goes down easy. That combination gives me absolute happiness,” he says with a laugh.

What else is Sofoklis looking forward to this Christmas?

“Nothing beats having a warm, cozy Christmas lunch at my house with my family, and then going out with my friends at night,” he says.

Of course, visiting the magical village is also part of his plans this Christmas, as the whole town gathers for the 19thconsecutive year of Oneiroupoli’s festivities. 

“We are all planning to go again this year,” Sofoklis says. “It’s something we look forward to every year.”

Πηγή: The Greek Herald