March 25 is a dual national and religious holiday in Greece. Greeks celebrate the anniversary of the War of Independence against the Turks in 1821. On March 25, 1821 after almost 400 years of occupation and oppression the bishop of Patras Germanos, raised the Greek flag, shouted “eleftheria h thanatos” (Freedom or Death) and the Greek Revolution began. During this hard period of four centuries Greeks strived hard to maintain their language, their religion and their identity.
Every year, this day, school flag parades with students dressed in their costumes are held in every town and village not only in Greece but all over the world wherever the presence of Greeks is strong and evident. In Athens a big armed forces parade is held to honour our ancestors.
This day, as said at the beginning, is a religious holiday too. The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Annunciation of Virgin Maria. It is the moment when Archangel Gabriel announced her that in 9 months she would become the mother of the Divine Child. According to tradition, this day people eat cod (bakaliaros) with garlic sauce (skordalia).
Should you be in Crete that day, don’t miss the school parade in the centre of any city, town or village starting around 12pm. You’ll feel the Greek spirit inside you just for a bit. And then, take your rental vehicle from The Best Car Rentals and drive to the countryside where we are sure you’ll enjoy and admire the real Crete, the nature and the traditional villages around.
Have a wonderful day!
Chronia pola (as Greeks say this special day)