A veritable of sea of red coursed through the streets of Chania in Crete yesterday.

Close to 3000 people dressed in Santa Claus costumes took part in the ninth Santa Run which is unique to the Cretan city.

READ HERE: WHAT’S ON Guide: Greek-inspired events across Australia, 19 December onward

The event which has been held to raise money for children with health problems this year, drew 400 people the first time it was held in the city nine years ago. Then it was organised by a group of friends now it is run by a voluntary association and it has grown to be a major attraction not only in Chania itself but in Crete as a whole.

The “runners” ran through the the streets of the historic city centre, its shopping precinct and the old Venetian harbour. Shops provided refreshments to the runners – mostly beer rather than water.

Musicians and dancers were ever present during the event in which no medals are given and no official times are kept.