Independence Day of Greece

Published March 25, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Greece, which is considered the cradle of the Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy and academic disciplines such as political science and historiography, celebrates its Independence Day today. The day coincides with the country’s celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.2

Independence Day in Greece is marked with flag parades, where school children dressed in traditional Greek costumes march on the streets carrying Greek flags. In Athens, a military parade is held, attended by the president of the country and other officials as large crowds gather along the route. Independence Day in Greece is not complete without serving the traditional dish called “bakaliaros,” which is salted cod, fried in a beer batter, served with “skordalia,” a garlic aioli usually made with potato and olive oil.

Greek Independence Day is also celebrated by its citizens living overseas. Large parades are becoming more common in the United States cities where Greeks have made their homes, including Boston and New York City. The president of the United States usually marks the occasion with a proclamation reminding citizens of the contributions of Greece to democracy, and of the ongoing contributions of expatriate Greeks in their new communities throughout the world.

Greece had been under of the Ottoman Empire since the early 1400s. Bishop Germanos of Patras, Greece, chose March 25, 1821 – the day of the Annunciation, to proclaim freedom for all Greek Orthodox Christians. Apart from engaging in a war for independence, the Greeks were waging a holy war because it was not only Greek against Turk but Christian against Muslim, and the subsequent Greek victory was deemed a triumph of Christianity.

Greece shares land borders with Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Its capital and largest city is Athens. Athens, which is among the world’s oldest cities, has become a global city and is considered one of the biggest economic centers in southeastern Europe.

Bilateral, diplomatic, and trade relations between Greece and the Philippines were established in 1947. Greece maintains an embassy in the City of Makati and the Philippines has an embassy in Athens.

We congratulate the people and the government of Greece led by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the occasion of its Independence Day Anniversary.