Olympic Torch spreads message of peace, unity and friendship
The Olympic flame, torch and relay were all important elements of the culture associated with the ancient Olympic Games in Greece.
In the early days of the games in Ancient Greece, a sacred flame would be burned, with heralds summoned to travel throughout Greece to announce the games.
The lighting of the flame is now a ritual that takes place prior to each of the Games, lit from the sun's rays at the Temple of Hera in Olympia.
After a short relay around Greece, the flame is handed over to the new host city at another ceremony in the Panathinaiko stadium in Athens.
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It is then transferred from one torchbearer to another, in an effort to spread the message of peace, unity and friendship.
The torch ends its journey as the last torchbearer lights the cauldron at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in the Olympic stadium, marking the official start of the games.
The flame is extinguished on the final day of the games, at the closing ceremony.