Every year on March 25 people in Greece, Cyprus and Greek Diaspora centers celebrate the Greek Revolution. The War of Independence against the Ottomans started on March 25 1821, and so 2021 marks 200 years since then. Despite any difficulties posed by the new pandemic, this important day was celebrated in almost every corner of the world, as it should. The blue and white colors of the Greek Flag flooded monuments and landmarks everywhere, to honor this day of Freedom and, even though social distancing protocols had to be kept, Greeks were closer than ever, in their hearts!
In Greece, the Grand celebration of the Bicentennial of the Greek Revolution lasted two days, while celebratory happenings will continue throughout the whole year. Even though school parades weren’t possible because of the current situation, a big military parade took place in Athens, filled with a sense of pride and glory. Distinguished guests such as the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiadis, the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Mishustin and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly also visited Athens for the televised events and for the big official dinner at the Presidential Palace held by the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Among the honored guests was Charles, the Prince of Wales who gave a deeply emotional speech highlighting the fact that Greece is the country of his grandfather and the birthplace of his father, Prince Philip. He also stated that the two countries will remain united in the future, as they’ve been in the past and he closed his speech by quoting the national anthem, written by Dionysios Solomos, “Χαίρε, ω χαίρε, ελευθεριά! Ζήτω η Ελλάς!”.
It’s no secret that the United States has over three million Greek-Americans with an abundance of Greek communities, stores, businesses and schools all across the country. Naturally, many cities joined in the celebration by lighting up their iconic landmarks with the Greek colors of white and blue, creating a magnificent sight. Amongst those cites that took part in the celebrations where Chicago, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Georgia and Boston, while president Biden sent his own strong message of unity and friendship to the Greek people by stating how sorry he was that he couldn’t be there due to the current pandemic, by highlighting the common points of the two countries and by saying: “I’m incredibly proud to be the American president who will help launch the next 200 years of our close cooperation and friendship.”
Europe is a continent that was built around the values of justice and democracy of ancient Greece, while it also took its name from an ancient Greek myth! Thus, it couldn’t but be a part of this celebration. Countries such as Lithuania, Spain, Serbia and Lebanon all honored the Greek Independence Day in their own beautiful way by illuminating their most important official and historical buildings in white and blue, as well as by sharing warm messages of unity and respect to the Greek people!
The Greek-Australian population is actually one of the biggest ones in the world, so of course Australia had to take part in the celebrations too! The legendary Sydney Opera House was lighted in white and blue, creating a gigantic banner which showcased the Greek flag and offered a breathtaking view. Many Greek-Australians gathered around to celebrate, sing traditional songs and share their Greek pride with the world!
But that is not all, as Greek people can literally be found all over the world! The Bicentennial of The Greek Revolution was also celebrated across Canada, England, South Africa and Latin America… Reminding us once again that borders are just typical, that the world is more united than we think and that wherever the Greek pulse beats strongly, the essence and light of Greece will always be shining through!