This energetic festival takes place on the slopes of Mount Olympus every year in July. Selected Greek performers sing to the crowds at the Ancient Theatre of Dion and special illuminations light up the ancient sites in the area at night-time.
Epiphany falls on 6th January, and marks the end of the Christmas celebratory period. The Orthodox community in Greece celebrates this with the Blessing of the Waters. In seaside towns across Greece, an orthodox priest throws a cross into the sea, thereby “blessing” the water. Young men jump into the sea after it and attempt to retrieve it. The one who finds and returns it to the priest is given a special blessing for him and his family. This happens after the Divine Liturgy. The festival is also sometimes referred to as the Feast of Theophany or the Feast of Light. It is Saint’s Day of Agia Theofana.
Greek Independence Day
Greek Independence Day falls on March 25th and celebrates the beginning of the Independence War against the Ottomans on that date in 1821. Apart from being a national celebration of independence, March 25th also celebrates the religious Annunciation of Virgin Mary.
Ochi Day is celebrated on 28th October to honour the strong reply ‘oxi’ (no) of General Ioannis Metaxas to Mussolini’s request for Italian soldiers to enter Greece at the start of World War II. Schools often organise parades to celebrate the day.