25th Of March: Celebrating 200 Years Of Independence in Greece

The Greek war of independence, celebrated on the 25th of March every year since the liberation of Greece from Ottoman rule in 1830, started a tumultuous chain of cataclysmic events throughout Europe and the world. Inspired by the French and American revolutions, the Greek revolution itself became a symbol of resistance against the old imperial powers and colonialism. Its effects would be felt all the way to the 1952 Suez crisis. Which is poetic, given that Lord Byron became the unlikely poster child of the Greek rebellion, eventually succumbing to disease after battle before being buried with full honors.

In Greece, this day means parades, a day off from work, kids running about and cod fish with a garlic dip called ‘bakaliaros skordalia’. Leave it to the Greeks to come up with a delectable dish to celebrate just about anything, and if the occasion is as momentous as celebrating the day of independence, then you can count your lucky stars. It’s as is if Lord Byron’s British heritage inspired the Greeks to eat battered cod with chips to honor him.

However, it’s worth pointing out that this particular day isn’t a random day that was chosen by the Greeks. Apart from the political overtones, this was as much a declaration of independence as it was a proclamation of faith towards the Greek Orthodox church, as the 25th is the day of the Annunciation of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would carry the son of God. So, as much as it we celebrate independence, we celebrate the overt religious nature of the Greek city state, as it was the ‘kryfo sxoleio’, or secret schools that were run by the church to educate Greek children and teach them the language lest it be lost.

25th Of March: Celebrating 200 Years Of Independence in Greece

Either way, if you’re in Greece (and even if you’re not), get yourself some tangy garlic dip battered cod and put on some opa music. Bust out the ouzo and/or tsipouro and celebrate being Greek, contemplate fortunes changed by a handful of rebel visionaries and get out and spread the love. And remember, Greece is opening on the 14th of May, so get your bags ready.

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