jump to navigation

Greece’s National Day celebrated March 25, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News, Special Features.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

Greeks all over the world observed today Greece’s National Day. Student parades were held in Athens on Monday 24th March, while a grand military parade has taken place today, 25th March, the salute of which was received by the President of the Hellenic Republic H.E. Karolos Papoulias.

The Greek Nation, today celebrates a dual feast, in respect of Greece’s Independence Day, when the War for Independence was declared on 25th March 1821, seeking freedom and liberty from the then Ottoman empire, and a religious major Orthodox Christian feast, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

Parades, both student and military, were also held in all towns of Greece and Cyprus. Some photos from these parades follow.

25-03-08_students_parade_cyprus.jpg 

Students parade in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 25th March.

24-03-08_students_parade1.jpg 

Students parade in Athens, Greece, on 24th March.

24-03-08_students_parade2.jpg

24-03-08_students_parade3.jpg

24-03-08_students_parade4.jpg

24-03-08_students_parade5.jpg

24-03-08_students_parade6.jpg

Photos from today’s military parade in Athens, Greece, follow in the next post.

Happy National Day Greeks! March 25, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Editorial, Special Features.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

25-03-08_greek_independence.jpg  On 25th March Greece celebrates its National Day, the Independence Day, commonly known as the Greek Revolution (in Greek Ελληνική Επανάσταση, Elliniki Epanastasi).

25-03-08_annunciation_virgin_mary.jpg  The anniversary of Independence Day (25 March 1821) is a National holiday in Greece, which falls on the same day as the religious Orthodox feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

On this occasion, we would like to cordially extend our greetings to all the Greeks, in mainland Greece, in Cyprus and the Greek Diaspora all over this planet earth, our to send our sincerest wishes for a Happy National Day as well as a Happy Name Day [to all the Marias, Panagiotas, Evangelies, Evangelos, Panagiotis, just to name but a few, who celebrate their name day on this major Orthodox Christian feast].

Related Links > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_War_of_Independence

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annunciation

On the occasion of Greece’s National Day on March 25 March 23, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Culture History Mythology, Greece News, Greek Diaspora, Special Features.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
comments closed

Message of Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Theodoros P. Kassimis, to all Greeks residing abroad >

Dear Compatriots,

It is with great pleasure and emotion that I am communicating with you on this historical day [25 March 1821] of National rebirth that brings to our minds so many memories and which is full of meaningful messages to Greeks, all over the world.

187 years ago, our ancestors, deprived of any substantial material means and falling short in number, motivated by the dream of a free homeland, fought against not only a powerful enemy but also against the prevailing status quo, which was dominant in Europe of the 19th century. It was an unequal fight, and seemingly destined to fail; however they won. They won because they believed in what nobody could even conceive, sacrificing their lives in the battlegrounds, unwilling to compromise themselves with the idea of defeat, which would have resulted in the loss of the dream of freedom. They won giving to us a free Greece, which with many efforts, sacrifices and hard work has earned the respect and the appreciation of its partners amongst the Nations.

187 years after, the challenges that our country is facing are different but not less important, consisting in the preservation of its territorial integrity, the protection of its cultural legacy and the defense of its rights. The battles are fought on a daily basis, not on battlegrounds, but in various fora, and as Greeks we are expected to prove that we are worthy of the legacy that our ancestors left us. We should never forget that what they achieved was the result of unity and resolve in the final cause. Let us then proceed as of this day, guided by the very same elements, proving once more to the rest of the world that the greatness of nations is not computed and measured by digits, numbers and material means, but by the heart, the courage and the grit shown whenever circumstances are challenging and demanding. We owe this to our ancestors, and furthermore to our children and ourselves.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you all health and prosperity, and I avail myself of this opportunity to extend to you my warmest patriotic greetings.

Theodoros P. Kassimis.

Proclamation by the US President > Greek Independence Day March 21, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora, Special Features.
Tags: , , ,
comments closed

GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY > 25th March 1821

US President proclaims March 25 a day of celebration in America > US President George W. Bush issued a statement proclaiming March 25 as a “day of celebration of Greek and American democracy” in the USA.

March 25 is Greek Independence Day, a National holiday in Greece, and Bush said the day would help “commemorate the heritage of freedom our countries hold dear” and remember “the Greek Americans whose strong spirit, resolve and courage helped shape America.”

Proclamation by the US President > Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy, 2008

On Greek Independence Day, we recognize the important contributions Greek Americans have made to our national character, celebrate the deep friendship between our two countries, and honor the anniversary of the Greek call for independence.

The United States and Greece share a close relationship based on our common belief in the power of freedom. The ancient Athenians gave birth to the principles of democracy, and America’s Founding Fathers were inspired by Greek ideals that honored and respected human dignity and rights. When the people of Greece claimed their independence in 1821, they had the strong support of the United States. Greek patriots risked their lives because they knew freedom and democracy were both their proud legacy and their ultimate destiny. Today, our nations remain allies in the cause of freedom and are working to lay the foundations of peace and spread the blessings of liberty around the world.

In celebrating Greek Independence Day, we commemorate the heritage of freedom our countries hold dear, and we remember the Greek Americans whose strong spirit, resolve, and courage helped shape America.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 25, 2008, as Greek Independence Day: A National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy. I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.

GEORGE W. BUSH

Source: White House Press Office > http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/03/20080320-5.html

Delicious cod for the Greeks March 21, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes, Greek Food Culture, Special Features.
Tags: , , , , , ,
comments closed

In Greece and Cyprus, there are two Sundays in the Easter season when all households cook codfish.

The first is for the religious feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary celebrated on 25th March annualy [also a National Day for Greece, commemorating the Independence Day and the Greek struggle for liberation against the Ottoman empire, started on 25th March 1821] and the second is Palm Sunday, which for this year is celebrated on 20th April, according to the Orthodox Church.

On these days, every household cooks the salted favourite. The pieces of cod are dipped into a batter of flour and water, and deep fried, then served with a garlic spread.

To make the spread, wet white bread, then combine it with lots of garlic, olive oil and lemon juice and blend till creamy.

Sounds delicious, so why not try it? Of course, the excess salt would have to be soaked from the fish overnight.

Clean Monday’s returning Athenians March 12, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Culture, Greek Culture Heritage, Special Features.
Tags: , , , ,
comments closed

Traffic clogs major highways as thousands return after holiday

Traffic police yesterday afternoon set up diversions at various junctions on the national road network in a bid to alleviate heavy congestion caused by hundreds of thousands of citizens returning to their hometowns after the long weekend. 

11-03-08_clean_monday.jpg  Clean Monday celebrations > People dressed up in colorful costumes across Greece over the weekend as Carnival season celebrations wound up yesterday on Clean Monday or Kathara Deftera in Greek, the first day of Lent. The Athens City Council held different festivities in central parts of the capital as the sunny weather helped guarantee a good turnout. Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis celebrated on Philoppapou Hill, close to the Acropolis, where thousands of Athenians attended.

11-03-08_kite_acropolis.jpg  Typical on Clean Monday is the kite flying.

Flour warriors rise to the occasion > A flour war in which participants throw bags of the foodstuff at each other has taken place in Galaxidi, Greece.

The event in the coastal town of Galaxidi, 200 kilometres west of Athens, is one of the most popular traditions in the country. The first day of Orthodox Lent is called Clean Monday, and in Galaxidi they celebrate its end with a street battle where flour tinted with food colouring is used as ammunition.

12-03-08_galaxidi.jpg  Participants come from across Greece, some donning goggles and plastic suits in an attempt to avoid getting covered in the sticky mess. The neoclassical houses are protected with plastic sheeting, and locals spend days afterwards trying to clean the streets.

According to legend the ritual began in 1801 when the townspeople painted their faces with ash and danced through the streets, celebrating the carnival in defiance of their Ottoman rulers.

The Carnival of Xanthi March 8, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Greece, Greek Culture, Greek Culture Heritage, Special Features.
Tags: , , , , ,
comments closed

The carnival of Xanthi is not just  a parade of disguised people and there is no other like it and as it was inspired by a group of its founders who begun with the determination and the belief to make it an institution in Thrace and in Macedonia.

Not only does it consist of soulless colorful mechanized caricatures but it really  consists of folk celebrations with European and domestic bands. And the responsible committee about the organization of the carnival have succeeded as it is said by thousands of people who have attended the celebrations. It is officially then an institution. It is a fair, an aggregation of folk festivals in the season of the carnival and in times of entertainment. So the parade itself are are the complement of the whole festival which is Thrace’s vivid expression.

It is obvious that during the forty years of the celebrations the carnival festivals have undergone some changes and are redefined with novelties because it is just natural for an institution like that to go through some phases of reorientation.

Above all it has to do with an institution that cannot be met elsewhere. The institution stands for a platform on which many cultural activities take place, it transforms and every year it serves as a way of expression on various social and cultural issues. It looks forward to the future and accents the past assuring that it reflects a rich domestic vividness in an area where multicultural and multinational social groups coexist harmoniously.

Related Links > http://www.carnival-of-xanthi.gr/index.php?lang=en&nocache=1