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Athens Greece: Celebrating Ochi (“No”) Day

I was in Greece for the 28th October this year.  This day is a national holiday – Ochi Day or ‘No’ Day.

In 1941 Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini ordered the Greek government under General Ioannis Metaxas to surrender.  General Metaxas said ‘Ochi’ or ‘No’ they would not surrender and then they proceeded to drive the Italians all the way to the Albanian border.  This was the day that Greece entered into the second world war (WW2) and took sides with the Allies.  Because of this decision and their actions the Russians were not able to advance in the spring time which would have been a lot easier for them but had to wait until the harsh winter which would go on to cost them the lives of many of their soldiers and to weaken thousands more.  The troops were too weak to fight and the course of the war was set.

All over Greece school children along with many military as well as local emergency services parade through the streets to remember this day.  All dressed in their school uniforms, their badges proudly pinned on the fronts of their jumpers.

Ochi Day parade

Each school formed a group and took their place at the start of the parade route.

Ochi Day lining up
School children lining the streets waiting to start their parade.

We were about half an hour outside of Athens however the children didn’t have to walk all the way into the city!

Ochi Day parade

There were flags flying high as well as being carried through the streets.

Ochi Day parade

It is always interesting to share a special occasion in another country, another culture from your own.  Have you ever experienced a proud national day anywhere .  Leave a comment please, I would love to hear about it.

You can read more about my trip to Athens by clicking below:-

Athens Greece: Riding on the Athens Metro

Athens Greece: Vouliagmeni Lake

I was not paid to attend or review the parade and was not required to write a positive review.  As usual all opinions and photographs are my own.  No photographs may be reproduced in any form without my written permission.


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