Saturday, 27 October 2012

Flags and bunting ...

... everywhere

Ohi Day (also spelled Ochi Day, Greek: Επέτειος του «'Οχι» Epeteios tou "'Ohi", Anniversary of the "No") is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on October 28 each year, to commemorate the rejection by Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas (in power from August 4, 1936, until January 29, 1941) of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940.

This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, on October 28, 1940, at dawn (04:00 am), after a party in the German embassy in Athens, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!) However, his actual reply was, Alors, c'est la guerre (Then it is war).

In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II
On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'ochi'. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day.

Tomorrow (Sunday)  is OXI day, Tries Hieraches church, the church square, Papadamatis street and all along the paralia is decorated with flags, bunting and banners. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with Greek flags.

The children from the nursery, yesterday marched to the war memorial, and laid their own wreath. Then joined their parents at the cafes on the paralia.

On Sunday there will be a large parade, and the children will sing the patriotic song, as they march along the Paralia.

Following which more patriotism will be evident in the cafe's and ouzerias, where coffeee and lunch will be taken, whilst the children play nearby ...

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