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Customs of the 24th & 25th March

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25th March. A National Holiday for the Greek Independence Day

The 25th March is a major double National Holiday, a historical and a religious one. All schools, banks, all kind of shops and business as well as all public services come to a standstill.

Greeks celebrate the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. The “Greek Revolution” was a successful war of independence waged by the Greek revolutionaries between 1821 and 1830. At the same time, Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the “Annunciation” by archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she should become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

1821 Greek revolution

The festivities in Athens start one day prior on the 24th March with the annual students parade. School students and other youth associations, dressed in school uniform and traditional dress, march in front the Tumble of the Unknown Soldier, located at the yard of the Hellenic House of Parliament in Syntagma square.

On the 25th March, the grand military parade starts at 11:00 am making its way from Vasilissis Sofias Avenue, past Hellenic Parliament at Syntagma Square, the Academy of Athens on Panepistimiou Street and ends at Omonia Square. The grand parade includes squadrons from the Hellenic Armed Forces, civil and military marching bands followed by a procession of military vehicles, while air Force planes and choppers are overflying. So, if it happens to be in Athens on that day don’t be surprised!

military parade Athens 25 March

The parades are attended by the president of the Greek democracy and other dignitaries, along with hundreds of locals who gather along the streets. Smaller local parades are taking place practical at any city neighborhood or country village! So if you plan to travel by car on the 25th of March try to avoid crossing villages between 11:00 – 13:00.

Tip: The Greek custom on Annunciation Day is to eat “bakaliaros skordalia”, a delicious crispy fried Cod fish with a spicy garlic sauce made of potato and olive oil, available at all restaurants and tavernas throughout Athens and the rest of Greece.

Greek food tradition for the 25th March

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