The 25th of March has a special meaning to the Greeks. It is a double
celebration. As Orthodox Christians we celebrate the Annunciation (Ευαγγελισμός της
Θεοτόκου), and also our Independence Day.
Annunciation - Ευαγγελισμός της ΘεοτόκουThis is the day to celebrate the good message that was given by God's angel to the Virgin Mary.
An Angel came to her, gave her a lily and told her that she will bring to the world the Son of God, the Savior of the world.
The name Evaggelismos comes from the Greek Word Evaggelia which means "good message". On this day anyone that is named Evan (Ευάγγελος) or Evangelia (Ευαγγελία), is celebrating their name day. As respect for this holy day, no one is working.
Independence Day - Η Μέρα της ΑνεξαρτησίαςAfter 400 years under Turkish rule, on the 25th of March in 1821, Paleon Patron Germanos (Παλαιών Πατρών Γερμανός), who was a Bishop, raised the flag of the Greek Revolution.
The Greeks all over Greece started to fight for their freedom and were able, after many years of blood shed, to get rid of their conqueror.
This is a national holiday. Schools are closed for the day and very few businesses are open. Parades are taking place everywhere in Greece. The small towns and villages have a parade with the school children, dressed in blue and white the colors of the Greek flag. Speeches from teachers, mayors or other important persons, follow the parade along with patriotic poems from the school children.
In the bigger cities the parade of the school children is followed by the parade of the Greek Armed Forces.
All of these events happen every year in front of the eyes of proud parents and government officials that are watching the parade.