National Holiday – Independence Day – Kissamos 25th March

25th March is a national holiday in Greece, celebrating the Greek war of Independence. But is also one of the holiest days of the Greek Orthodox religion. It is the day of the Annunciation when the archangel Gabriel told Mary she would bear the Son of God.

As a measure to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 corona virus the Municipality of Kissamos made the following announcements:

As a minimum tribute to the heroes of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the Greek flag will be risen at the Municipality of Kissamos and the citizens of the Municipality are invited to do the same at their homes.

The Municipality of Kissamos has announced the cancellation of military parades as well as of students’ parades  on the National Day on 25th March,  and also parades for local anniversaries of the town’s  liberation, until 12th April 2020.

(Cancellation of parades etc. according to Government’s A ’55 / 11.03.2020 Legislative Act, Article 20, published on “Urgent measures to address the negative consequences of the occurrence of COVID-19 coronavirus and the need to limit its spread”.
Flags: according to no. 19016 / 19.03.2020 document of the Ministry of the Interior)

Source: Municipality Kissamos

 

Greek Flag

About the Independence Day:

How did Greeks celebrate March 25th before 2020 ?
March 25th is an official public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. In most Greek cities, it usually includes parades and other festive events. The main events are the military  parades in the big cities in the morning of 25th March  as well as many students’ parades all over the country.
On  this day it is also a tradition to gather with family and friends and eat fish. Since this day is also a religious celebration, and it always falls in the “fasting period” before the Easter celebration, most people will avoid eating meat. That is why the traditional dish for 25th March is the so called “bakaliaros skordalia” –  fried cod accompanied by a delicious garlic sauce.

The Greek National Anthem
The Greek national anthem was written by Dionysios Solomos, a Greek poet from Zakynthos, in 1829.

 

Outline of events that led to  the Greek War of Independence (Source: xpatathens.com)
From 1453 to 1821 Greece was under Ottoman (Turkish) rule. Despite almost 400 years of occupation, the Greek identity remained strong, largely due to the influence of the powerful Greek Orthodox Church. However, Greeks were subjects of the Ottoman Empire, without independent political power. Over the centuries many uprisings against the oppressive rule were vanquished by the Ottoman Empire.


The Greek War of Independence
On March 25, 1821, the bishop Germanos of Patras called upon Greeks to rise up against the Ottomans once again. The War of Independence was fought fiercely under the motto “Freedom or Death” .
This time, the Greek freedom fighters would not be vanquished.

The battle raged through mainland Greece for several years, until a small region was reclaimed. The freedom fighters were known as klephts, and tens of thousands gave their lives in the war. The French Revolution both weakened the Ottoman Empire and raised European consciousness to the plight of the Greeks. Many joined the fight, both in proclamations of support and by actually bearing arms with the Greeks. The poet Lord Byron went to fight and lost his life in Greece, as did many supporters from Europe and the Americas.

In 1832, the first official international treaty was declared, recognizing central Greece as under independent Greek rule. Over the next century, through wars and diplomatic agreements, mainland Greece and her islands were reclaimed one by one until Greece as we know it was under one rule. The last region to return to Greek rule were the Dodecanese islands, after the end of World War II.

25th March was the day when  Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag and declared battle and this is why this day is also one of the holiest days of the Greek Orthodox religion.
This is the day of the Annunciation when the archangel Gabriel told Mary she would bear the Son of God. The day is celebrated throughout Greece as a day of independence and also an important religious holiday.

Lydia

I'm Austrian living in Tavronitis, love nature, music, good books, sunsets, the sea, travelling, socializing and more. I came to Crete as a student in the early 70s, exploring the west and southwest of the island with friends by motorbike. When you are young everything is important and, there are lots of things to do...I did. Job, family,children, travelling the world. But I never lost my love for Crete for a minute. And six years ago I ended up in this convenient corner of Crete, not only for holidays, but to stay and haven't regretted it for a minute.