Tuesday 21 November 2017

21 November

Armed Forces Day
'A celebration dedicated to the watchful guardians of the Greek borders, the guarantors of security, peace and prosperity of the Greek people'.

Also a religious holiday, of course. The Orthodox church celebrates the entry of the Blessed Virgin into the temple.

Name day for virgins named Mary and Maria.
Non virgins celebrate  on 15th August.

In Athens the day begins with raising of the Hellenic (Greek) flag on the rock of the Acropolis. There follows a service at the church of St Dionysios which is attended by all the bigwigs in politics and out, all the Forces Generals, Admirals and Air Marshalls in their dress uniforms with shining medals and sharply creased trousers.  Important people then lay wreathes on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square.   We see all of it on the news in great detail.  The church service is usually shown live on one of the national channels.

Who puts creases in their trousers nowadays? Our PM doesn't even wear a tie. Ever.

On Poros there is a service at the church of St Nicolas at the Navy Base this year followed by coffee, drinks and nibbles in the Base dining room

Poros Navy Base

Last year the church service  was followed by a free feast for all retired and serving officers, local officials and spouses at a taverna.  These 'lunches' can go on till dark and the remnants are then moved over to a nearby cafeteria till the last man drops.  There has been some strategic belt tightening this year

- 25th November       St Katherine
- 26th November       St Stelianos
Name day for Stelios and Stella
- 30th November       St Andreas (Andrew)
Patron saint of the city of Patras


  1. I like it that the church service is shown live on one of the National channels.

    1. The Sunday morning church service is always broadcast as well, plus any high-Holy and National day church services.

  2. The only services shown here is Anzac Day, Christmas Day and maybe Easter. Other than that nothing.
    Which is a shame for those that would like to attend but cannot for various reasons
    We have so many channels now. One that does this wouldn’t be too hard I shouldn’t think

    1. I suppose someone is sure to complain down there but knowing there is a service on one channel would also make a lot of other people happy. As you say, first of all those who for some reason cannot attend.