National Anniversary Day in Greece in 2020

National Anniversary Day in Greece in 2020
Poster supporting Greece's entry into World War II

  How long until National Anniversary Day?
This holiday next takes place in 32 days.
  Dates of National Anniversary Day in Greece
2022 Greece Fri, Oct 28 National Holiday
2021 Greece Thu, Oct 28 National Holiday
2020 Greece Wed, Oct 28 National Holiday
2019 Greece Mon, Oct 28 National Holiday
2018 Greece Sun, Oct 28 National Holiday
This is the day of the National Anniversary of Greek Independence
  Local name
To Ochi
  National Anniversary Day in other countries
National Anniversary Day internationally

When is Ochi Day?

This public holiday in Greece and Cyprus is always celebrated on October 28th.

This is the day of the National Anniversary of Greek Independence. It may be known as 'World War II National Holiday'.

The day is also called 'Ochi Day' or 'Oxi' Day anniversary (pronounced 'ohi') in celebration of Greece's refusal to yield to the powers of the Axis in 1940.

History of Ochi Day

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 second world 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, but they also seized the offensive and drove the Italians back through most of Albania.

Had Metaxas not said "No!", it is 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.

Speaking in 2019, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: "October 28 is not just another opportunity to honour our glorious past; it is an opportunity to demonstrate our current understanding of the unity of Hellenism."

How is Ochi Day celebrated?

The day is characterised by military parades and folk dances and Greek Orthodox churches hold special services.

Many shops will be closed, but restaurants and bars will be open as usual. In Athens a large military parade takes places, finishing in the early afternoon, after which time restaurants and bars may be busier than normal.

Greek museums and ancient sites such as the Athens Acropolis Museum will be open and admission to the museum will be free of charge.

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