Greek Independence Day, Then and Now

Greek Independence Day, Then and Now

Hey there, expat adventurers!👋
So, you’ve landed in Athens, ready to embark on your journey of working and exploring new horizons. But hold on a sec, what’s with all the flags, funky outfits, and parades, in the days leading up to the 25th of March?

Don’t worry, let Speakit break it down for you! 

Some historical facts

Picture this: It’s the 25th of March, and Greeks are celebrating with a multitude of customs, parades, and festivities. But why? 

First up, it’s the historical side of things. Back in the day (we’re talking 1821), Greece was like, “Enough is enough, Ottoman Empire!” and kicked off the Greek War of Independence.
Yep, it was like a giant game of “Freedom or Death” and guess what? Freedom won!🙌

Fast forward to today, and Greeks are still going all out to honor those heroes who fought tooth and nail for independence. We’re talking Bishop Germanos hoisting the Greek flag like a boss and battles so epic they make Hollywood blockbusters look tame.

But wait, there’s more! It’s not just about history; there’s a sprinkle of religious flair too. You see, the 25th of March also marks the Annunciation of the Theotokos, a big deal in the Greek Orthodox Church. So, it’s like combining a history lesson with a touch of divine intervention—all wrapped up in one big, festive package!

How Greeks honor the day

Today, Greeks celebrate the 25th of March with vibrant military and student parades across the country.
The largest of them takes place in Athens, where members of the military, police, and coast guard march in front of the Greek Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Schoolchildren, dressed in traditional costumes, also participate in towns and villages, showcasing the national pride and cultural heritage of Greece.

There’s also a festive atmosphere with families and communities gathering to enjoy traditional food and drink. Bakaliaros (battered and fried cod) served with skordalia (a garlic and potato dip) is a traditional dish eaten on this day 🤤
The choice of cod is partly due to the Lenten fast, which allows fish on this day. 

This day honors not only the heroes who fought for independence, but also the enduring spirit of freedom, unity, and national identity that continues to define Greece and serves as a timeless reminder of the power of collective action and the universal quest for freedom, resonating across generations and borders. 🗺️

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