The Christmas tree in Syntagma Square lit up on Tuesday as a COVID-safe crowd watched on.
The annual event, in which the surrounding buildings and streets are decorated with 350,000 lights and green garlands, marks the beginning of the holiday season in Greece.
The 19-metre fir tree from Karpenisi is decorated with 60,000 multicoloured lights.
Athens mayor Kostas Bakoyannis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew watched on from afar.
Bakoyannis said the annual ceremony came early this year to help “leave behind the negative atmosphere of the [ongoing] pandemic”.