France and the United States celebrate their independence during the sweltering summer months–but did you know that Greece has an Independence Day as well? Everyone’s favorite Mediterranean getaway was apart of the Ottoman Empire, a long-gone world power from current-day Turkey that kept Greece under its rule for almost 400 years. Greece declared its independence on the 25th of March, 1821, and after an eight-year war and a few years of negotiations, it was finally recognized as an independent state in 1932. Liberation is now celebrated in early spring with city parades from the military and the schoolchildren of each local district. The little ones don uniforms or historical dress from various regions of Greece.
The 25th of March is a designated national holidays, with most stores (except cafes and some tourist-targeting souvenir shops downtown) closed up. Residents usually enjoy a walk through town or some lovely Athenian mountainsides (the art of the chill walk is known as “volta“, also denoting social outings or get-togethers. The word works for anything that gets you out of the house and into the sunshine!).
Happy Independence Day! And remember to get out once in awhile and breathe in some fresh spring air!
(Stay tuned for more on great places to enjoy springtime in Athens!).