Poster supporting Greece's entry into World War II
How long until The Ochi day?
|This holiday next takes place in 10 Days.|
Dates of The Ochi day
|Imera tou Ochi|
|Celebration of Greece's refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940|
This holiday is always celebrated on 28 October.
This public day may also be known as 'World War ΙΙ National Holiday'.
The day celebrates Greece's refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940.
In October 1940, Benito Mussolini, the fascist dictator of Italy, backed by Germany, demanded to occupy Greece. General Ioannis Metaxas famously responded "Ochi!" - "No!" in Greek.
That "No!" brought Greece into the war on the side of the Allies. Indeed, for a period, Greece was Britain's only ally against Hitler.
Not only did Greece rebuke Mussolini's demands, they seized the offensive and drove the Italians back through most of Albania.
Had Metaxas not said "No!", its arguable that the Second World War may have lasted much longer. One theory is that had Greece surrendered without any resistance, it would have enabled Hitler to have invaded Russia in the spring, rather than his disastrous attempt to take it during winter.
The day is characterised by military parades and folk dances and Greek Orthodox churches hold special services.