What better way to get to know the Greek culture than experience the Greek Independence Day on 25th of March? In order to honor the final independence from the Turks there are several small parades in every village of this beautiful island and a bigger one in the capital town Chios city.
Of course we didn’t want to miss this important cultural event so we watched the small parade in Vrontados first and went after that to Chios city. There many different people participated in the parade: The students of the Primary and High Schools as well as some kindergarten children were marching down the main street to the port. After every school represented itself it was the turn of the cultural associations like scouts, sports and folkloric dance clubs who joined the parade in their traditional outfits. To conclude the parade in an impressive way, the army with it’s different security forces marched in the end.
You could see how the families of the marching students were really proud of their children being a part of this important day. It seemed like the whole island came together in Chios city to cheer to the marching people. Everybody had Greek flags and waved them proudly while enjoying the celebration events. In this kind of parades you get the opportunity to see traditional dresses as well as listen to traditional music which is very interesting.
For us foreigners it was in a positive way surprising that civil people like students and members of cultural associations get the opportunity to march side by side with the army and security forces. Besides the flags and the happy spirit everywhere also the clothing was an indicator of how important that day is for the Greeks: many people were dressed up, especially the women often put on their best dresses and high heels. As the weather was luckily very sunny it was the perfect day for this kind of event because everybody enjoyed being outside so the cafeterias were full of happy people drinking one of Greece’s incredible frappe’s.
To see all pictures go into our gallery!