Olympic Flame Torch Handover Panathenaic Stadium Athens
High Priestess Katerina Lehou prepares to handover the Olympic Flame at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens during the 2016 Olympics. Photograph: Why Athens

OLYMPIC FLAME HANDOVER CEREMONY – Panathenaic Stadium

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Where: Panathenaic Stadium
When: 19 March 2020 - 11:00am
Why Go: To witness that start of the Olympic flame handover

The ceremony for the official handover of the Olympic flame for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens and is open to the  general public on Thursday 19th March at 11:00am.

The Olympic flame will be first lit at Ancient Olympia on the 12th March in the ancient Temple of Hera, where up to 30 priestesses or ‘Caryatids Kores’ perform a series of rituals, calling on the mythical god Apollo to light the Olympic flame. 

Olympic Flame Torch Handover Panathenaic Stadium Athens

The Caryatids Korres performing at the 2016 Olympic Flame handover ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. Photograph: Why Athens

The flame will then make its way through Greece with the Olympic torch relay covering over 2,000km’s and carried by approximately 500 torchbearers eventually reaching the Acropolis before arriving at the Panathenaic Stadium the next day. The general public is welcome to watch the ceremony, which will also be cast live around the world on the official Olympic Games website.

Olympic Flame Torch Handover Panathenaic Stadium Athens

The final runner of the Olympic flame torch relay at the 2016 Olympics passes the Greek Presidential Guard. Photograph: Why Athens

The ceremony is an absolute highlight for anyone visiting Athens. Visitors are advised to arrive well in advance of the 11:00am starting time (we suggest arriving at or before  9:30am) to witness the official ceremony which includes the Greek Presidential Guard, the City of Athens Marching Band and a performance by the 30 Caryatids Korres before the flame is handed over to the Tokyo Olympic Committee.

Olympic Flame Torch Handover Panathenaic Stadium Athens

The last Olympic flame relay runner in Greece lights the Olympic cauldron before it is handed over to the host country. Photograph: Why Athens

Why Athens Tips:

All ages welcome and all events are free.

No tickets or registration required, seating is on a first-come basis.

Start time is 11:00am however we suggest arriving by 9:30am.

 

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