I’m trapped inside, working on my book today so it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to make it to the Greek parade today. It looks rather grey out, but at least it will be cool for all the people marching in the parade. My favorite are all the children dressed up in traditional Greek costume. Too cute! You can see my photos from last year here.
What’s the Greek parade for, you ask? To celebrate Greek Independence Day, of course! March 25 is Greek Independence Day. Here’s a little history in case you’re new to my blog and missed it last year:
Greece was a strong empire, impacting language and culture around the world for much of ancient history. Even after Greece fell to Roman rule, Greek thought and influence remained strong. However, in 1453 the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire.
On March 25, 1821, Metropolitan Germanos of Patras raised a revolutionary flag under a tree outside of Agia Lavra, a monastery in the Peloponnese. This wasn’t the first clash between the Greeks and the Ottoman Empire in those 400 years. The Turks had burned monastery, which was built in AD 961, to the ground in 1585. The Greeks rebuilt it in 1600 but then the Ottoman Empire armies of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt destroyed the church in 1715. The Greeks rebuilt it again, and in 1821 Germanos gave an oath to the Greek fighters and raised the flag. Pasha’s army destroyed Agia Lavra again in 1826.
The War for Independence lasted nine years. Finally, on 1829, a small part of Greece was liberated. Slowly, other parts of Greece were liberated. On July 21, 1832, the Treaty of Constantinople, which put the Greek borders in writing, was signed, and on August 30, 1832, it was ratified. Still, it wasn’t until after World War II that other Greek lands were returned to Greece.
You can read my full article on Agia Lavra, the church where the revolution began, in my Church Hopping column on Burnside Writers Collective.