The Olympic torch was brought to Thessaloniki on May 13, 2012, and is continuing to move toward the Turkish-Greecian border. Veteran Olympic champions, locals and relatives of past torch-bearers greeted the flame and its guardians when it arrived in Thessaloniki after visiting other cities in Greece. On May 17, 2012, the torch will be handed over to the United Kingdom for the 2012 London Olympics at a special ceremony in Athens.
The Torch relay has always been anchored in the traditions of the Olympic Games, even since ancient times in Greece. During the ancient Olympic games, a flame was always burning on the altar of the goddess, Hera, and heralds would travel throughout the country to announce the beginning of the Olympics.
Now, the Olympic flame is lit from the rays of the sun at the temple of Hera in a traditional ceremony amongst the ruins of the ancient temple. The Torch is then paraded in a relay around Greece, where different host cities celebrate it and make sure it remains ignited. Then, at last, it is handed over to the new host country for the Olympics. This year's host country, Great Britain, will have a torch relay that will also transfer the torch from one bearer to another. The Olympic flame promotes peace, friendship, and unity among the world.
Our contributor wrote:
The arrival of the Olympic flame in front of the White Tower at Thessaloniki Greece on Sunday, May 13, 2012. The Olympic Flame will travel to London where the Summer Games will take place from July 27-Aug. 12.