Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Celeste.
The 25th March is a public holiday. This national holiday marks two important historical events, thus a double Greek feast. The day is celebrated around the country and far beyond. In this article, we’ll explain the traditions of the 25 March public holiday in Greece.
25 March Public Holiday Greece
The 25th of March is also called Greek Independence Day because it commemorates the start of the War of Greek Independence in 1821. The Greek War of Independence (1821–1829), or Greek Revolution was a successful war waged by the Greeks to win independence for Greece from the Ottoman Empire.
25 March is also called Annunciation Day because it coincides with the Greek Orthodox Church’s celebration of The Annunciation. AND, it is also the name day of everyone called Evangelos or Evangelia because ‘Evangelismos’ means Annunciation in Greek.
25 March Parades
In celebration of Greek Independence Day, towns and villages throughout Greece hold a school flag parade, during which schoolchildren march (some in traditional Greek costume) and carry Greek flags. There is also a military parade in Athens including squadrons from the Hellenic Armed Forces, civil and military marching bands, and military vehicles. The parades are attended by the president of Greece and other officials. Families and kids gather along the route and wave flags.
2022 Parades Measures Athens
After being canceled for two years, the Athens’ parade will take place again this year. According to the Ministry of Health, both during the arrival and during the parade and the departure, the citizens should wear a mask if there is a crowd. Those who parade should wear their masks before and after the parade – as long as they are crowded and not in line.
Traditional Greek Food on 25 March
Greece and Greek holidays are all about food. A Greek celebration cannot be complete without a traditional dish. On 25 March Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation celebration, Greeks eat ‘bakaliaros’ and ‘skordalia’. This is codfish with mashed potato garlic dip, a delicious fried salted cod with a garlic sauce made of potato and olive oil.
Bakaliaros Skordalia has an interesting history with a mixture of trade and religious factors. Because the 25th of March falls in the period of Lent, food choices are limited. During the Greek Orthodox fasting period, meat, fish, and dairy are not allowed. The Greek church makes two exceptions: on 25 March and on Palm Sunday. These days, people can eat fish. Historically, people living near the sea had access to fresh fish, but those in mountain areas had not. When salted cod was imported, this problem was solved. Not only for Lent but for other days too. Salted cod is a cheap alternative to fresh fish, is very nutritious, and could be preserved for a long time. The ease of transport, to preserve, and the low price made it very popular food.
How to eat Bakaliaros Skordalia
Bakaliaros coated with beer batter and then fried and served with skordalia is the most crispy and delicious cod that you will ever. It is a heavy meal, but great with a glass of white wine! The secret is that the dried and salted fish is soaked for more than 24 hours and then crispy fried in a layer of dough. Why fried? This is actually the only way in which the fish can be prepared tasty. The basic secret for the batter is ice cold water and/or beer, which prevents the fried fish from absorbing too much oil. Corn flour (starch) is used to make the crispy and light crust. The fish is served with Skordalia, a puree of garlic and mashed potatoes, and/or soaked bread. Garlic mash and fried cod are a match made in heaven!
Greek National Holiday 25 March Things to do
Are you in Athens on 25 March? Don’t miss the parades and venture out for a traditional tavern to taste the national dish! It’s wise to make a reservation beforehand because it gets busy in town. As Greeks celebrate the day on which the War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire began, archaeological sites and museums will be closed. Other nice activities are: