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10/03/2010

25th of March 2010: Join the celebration of Greece Independence Day!

 

The celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 25th draws inspiration from one of the holiest days for Greek Orthodox Christians, the Annunciation of the Theotokos(Mother of Christ). It is the day that Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a child: the son of God. In year 1821 during that holy day Bishop Germanos of Patras seized the opportunity by raising the Greek flag of revolution at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese, in an act of defiance against the Ottoman (Turkish) rule and marked the beginning of the Greek War of Independence.

The revolution was organized by Greek intellectuals, business men, priests and of course by the Greek resistance. This war lasted 9 years until a small part of modern Greece was finally liberated and declared an independent nation. It marked the beginning of the end for the occupation of Greece which had started 376 years earlier in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople (currently referred to as Istanbul).

25th of March 2010 is on a Thursday and is an official National holiday so all services, banks, shops, etc remain closed. As a mark of celebration each year a parade is organized after Greek mass. The parade consists of representatives of each school in the city (from Primary to University level) as well as representatives of the Red Cross, Rescue Teams, Fire Department, Police force and Military. In Chania city the parade starts usually at 12 noon from Eleftherias Square (Court House square), moves through Papandreou street and ends at the Agora in the heart of Chania.

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