2021 is a highly symbolic year for Greece as it marks the 200th anniversary of the outbreak of the country’s Independence War against the Ottoman rule in 1821.
March 25th is a national holiday in Greece, celebrating the Greek war of Independence which coincides this year with the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution in 1821.
This day 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.
With the start of the anniversary events there will be a Live streaming event on Thursday 25th March at 19:00.
Speech: ‘Heroic ’21 – Inspiration and guide for the rising new century’ . Speaker Ambassador Kyriakos Rodousakis.
The event will be promoted on the social networks of the Municipality of Kissamos.
Due to the emergency measures of the Covid-19 pandemic and in order to avoid overcrowding, no parades will take place.
General flag-raising for three days from the morning of 23rd March until the sunset of 25th of March.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2021
17:00 Vespers at the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation.
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 2021
1. 07:00 a.m. the bells of the churches will ring.
2. 07: 00-10: 00 Divine Liturgy at the Metropolitan Church of the Annunciation.
3. 10:15 a.m. official eulogy at the Metropolitan Church
4. 10:30 a.m. memorial prayer and wreath-laying by the Mayor in Tzanakaki Square, observance of a minute of silence and National Anthem.
Master of ceremonies: Mr. Batoudakis Michalis, Director of the 2nd Primary School of Kissamos, has been appointed.
Source: press release Municipality Kissamos.
Photo: Kissamosnews archive
About the Independence Day:
How did Greeks celebrate March 25th before the pandemic ?
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, followed by traditional music and dancing in the town square.
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.
More information about the origins of this National Day:
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.
Some main happenings until the Treaty of London on 7th May 1832 was signed, establishing a new Greek state,making Otto of Bavaria the new King of Greece, and defining Greece as an independent kingdom.