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Sunday, 26 March 2017

25th March

Hanging out the blue and white Greek flag for National Day.  The flag is called the 'galano-lefko', the 'blue and white'. 

There used to be a law that every house must fly the flag on National Days.  Our traditional person makes sure ours is always flying a few days before.

Four schools take part in the parade and each school has an honour guard with one of the top pupils carrying the flag

Most of the island turns out to watch the children parade and lay wreaths at the War Memorial.  The cafes are full and ouzo is a popular drink with a small meze before carrying on to friends and relatives who are celebrating their name day today.  Vangelis and Evangelia

The Municipal Band sets the pace and plays the National Anthem

After the parade along the waterfront the school girls put on a show of traditional Greek dancing, some of them wearing the local dress.

25th March is a double celebration.

The Greek Orthodox church celebrates the Annunciation, when Archangel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of  Christ.

The Greek people also celebrate the successful war of independence fought against the Ottoman Empire (the Turks).

  The Commander at the Navy Base and escort, Chief of Police, Chief of Harbour Police, Mayor, Councillors.

 Priests from all the churches and the Bishop from the island of Hydra with his black flock of frocked priests


Police on guard, guns in holsters

Harbour Patrol boat

We will watch the parade and wreath laying and then go across the waters to eat salted bacaliaros (cod) with Vangelis  (son-in-law's brother) whose name day it is today.  When our daughter married Kyriakos we all became a member of their family as well and nearly always celebrate these holidays together, whether at their house or ours.

It is still Lent of course but fish is allowed today and traditionally it is fried salt cod (soaked in water for two days to de-salt it) and garlic sauce.   It looks like fish n chips with mashed potato but it definitely is not.   The battered fried cod is usually cold by the time everyone gathers round the table and the 'mash' is strong with garlic and vinegar, and oily.  

Once again Maiden Aunt, Eleni, 85 years old, fried the cod, over 50 pieces and her sister Tasia made the skorthalia (garlic sauce).


  Vangelis had made a huge baking dish of samali which is a semolina cake with no eggs, butter or milk.


  1. Interesting. Sounds like fun and pride in being Greek. I miss that in England in that it is no longer encouraged to be proud of what you are. Here it is Mothering Sunday and I have had Peter to myself most of the day because his mother has gone to his sister's for the day. Wonderful, it is like a Christmas Day all over again for us.

    1. Sounds like 'coddling' Sunday.
      Greeks love their national days. The kids all have poems to say at school and terrible historical movies are shown on tv. Proud to be Greek.

  2. Our national colors are also blue and white and in some ways i find the Greeks are like us here. Your familly tables look always great.

    1. Those family tables always have too much food on them. Everyone enjoys getting together and talking and eating

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all
    I bet you all rolled home after a feast like that

    1. Too much food and drink. Especially in Nota's house. We always groan as we get up from the table. We have a ten minute walk down to the car ferry to go back to Poros so at least we get a little exercise afterwards

  4. You seem to have so many celebrations, it must be a job keeping up with them all. I notice that most involve a lot of eating and drinking too.

    1. Too many celebrations and in this family they think it very important to celebrate them all. They always involve food and drink though the younger generation is protesting and saying 'too much'. A get together with coffee is quite enough.

  5. I would have to do some serious training to be able to keep up with all those celebrations and feasts, I'm far too used to being on my own for much of the day. Nice to see the girls wearing local dress.

    1. You'd think things would have changed with all our austerity measures but particularly the older generation thinks it is most important to carry on the traditions especially with food and drink. And of course all greeks love get-togethers.
      I would prefer to stay at home too by myself. Greeks hate being by themselves. A weird thing but that social interaction is essential for their mental health1

  6. I thought the USA celebrated occasions at the drop of the hat, but I think you have them beat :)
    It's nice to see the patriotism, and traditions, Greece likes to host, eat, drink and make merry :)

    1. Eat drink and be merry should be the national motto!!! Austerity, bankruptcy, Grexit, nothing puts the greeks down!