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SFI – Strong Future International

Work From Home - SFI – Strong Future International

Greek Festivals and Independance Day





In this post I am going off topic to tell you a little about all  the Festivals and Celebrations going on here in Greece at the moment. Working from home gives me this chance to take a little time off to join in with all the celebrations.






The three week period prior to the Greek Orthodox 40 day Lent is a time of celebration and is known as Apokries or Carnival.

During Lent it is a time of fasting and abstinence leading up to Easter. For the whole of Lent and throughout Holy Week, there are no weddings, parties or celebrations. Also fasting and abstinence from meat, drinking wine and restrictions on other foods makes for a sombre and sober time. So before this period of deprival there are three weeks of fun, food and festivities. The three week period is named Apokria meaning “abstention from meat”.

During Apokries, more commonly known as Carnival, there are many celebrations and festivities.

The Apokries period in early spring has its roots in Ancient Greece when the Greek god of wine, fertility and ecstasy, Dionysus was worshipped and revered with much drinking of wine and merriment.


The period of Apokria consists of three feasts.


The first feast of Apokries is named ‘Protofoni’ or ‘Announcement’. During this week readings from the Triodeon (book of the Three Holy Sacraments) are made daily in churches and on the Sunday the feast of Protofoni announces the beginning of Carnival.



The second feast of Apokries is named Kreatini and is known as ‘Meat Week’. This is traditionally the last opportunity to eat meat before Lent. The Thursday of this week is named Tsikno Pempti or Burnt Thursday where feasting on grilled meats are the order of the day. Many parties, including fancy dress parties or the wearing of masks are held in bars or clubs commence during this week.



The third feast of Apokries is called Tirini and is known as ‘Cheese Week’. Cheese, eggs and dairy products are enjoyed heartedly during this week as meat is not allowed.


Tyrofagis Sunday

This is the last day of Apokries when the grand parades take place. This is of course the biggest celebration of Apokries when music, eating, drinking and making merry is almost obligatory.There are so many floats filled with colourful characters parading through the main streets to the crowds of enthusiastic and usually fancy dress wearing spectators.

Balloon sellers mingle with spectators while music is played loudly and adds to the carnival atmosphere. Later there are parties with much eating and drinking continue throughout the evening.


Clean Monday


The day after the big parade of the Carnival is called “Clean Monday” on this day the Greek families go to the beach and fly kites, have a BBQ with seafood as they are not allowed meat until Easter.

clean monday



Greek Independance Day


Today is Greek Independance day so all the public buildings are closed today and there will be a parade in town later this afternoon.


25 mars 034


March 25 is both a national (revolution against the Turks) and religious holiday (Annunciation). March 25 is the nameday for Vangelis or Evangelos and Vangelio or Evangelia or Eva.

There is a school flag parade in every town and village and a big armed forces parade in Athens , the capital of Greece .


The Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453 and the Greeks remained under the Ottoman rule for nearly 400 years. During this time their language, their religion and their sense of identity remained strong.

On March 25, 1821 the bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese and one more revolution started against the Turks. The people of Greece shouted “Freedom or Death” and they fought the War of Independence for 9 years (1821-1829) until a small part of modern Greece was finally liberated and it was declared an independent nation.

The struggle for the liberation of all the lands inhabited by Greeks continued. In 1864, the Ionian islands were added to Greece; in 1881 parts of Epirus and Thessaly. Crete, the islands of the Eastern Aegean and Macedonia were added in 1913 and Western Thrace in 1919. After World War II the Dodecanese islands were also returned to Greece.


We were going to go to watch the parade this afternoon but we have been invited out for lunch for a friends Birthday so we will miss it this year.


Hope you enjoyed this post about my adopted country, I will be back on topic in my next post. I would love to hear from you so if you would like to share your thoughts then please leave a comment below.


Thanks for reading





About Pauline
I am an English lady living on a Greek island. I work from home as a Bronze Team Leader with SFI Strong Future International.

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  • Evan says:

    Thanks for the info. As for my Greece is a mystery country. I plan to visit this country for more than 5 years and still have some interruption… You article is very inspiring and I won’t leave the idea to visit Greece anyway)
    Evan recently posted..Best WordPress Themes with Slider 2013My Profile

    March 25, 2013 at 10:23 am
  • Phil

    Hi Pauline,

    thanks for an interesting history lesson :-) I Germany we have something called “Karneval” during February each year and it’s always fun to have costume parties, parades and so on.

    I wish you some happy days with the festivities there :-)

    Phil recently posted..Free High PR BacklinksMy Profile

    March 25, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Erwin

    Hi everyone,

    good to know some facts about Greece. I’ve never haerd about this before so thanks for the post. And we don’t need read always about our main topics.

    I hope you will have fun today and great birthday party.

    Thanks for sharing this and have a great week.

    Erwin recently posted..The One Thing You Must Do Before You Start Writing Your Post.My Profile

    March 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm
  • Debbie says:

    Hi Pauline; Fascinating subject and I enjoyed this post. Seems quite similar to Karneval in Germany, and Mardi Gras, etc. elsewhere, except those take place in February. Hubby and I are looking forward to our upcoming trip to Greece, (plus Italy & Germany – our respective birth places), in Sept.
    Debbie recently posted..MUSIC MONDAY; NEIL YOUNGMy Profile

    March 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm
  • Joy Healey

    Hi Pauline

    That was really fascinating, thanks. Many more posts like that and I’ll be leaving our SNOW and COLD behind to come out and visit LOL.

    How about it? A blogger’s convention round at Pauline’s?

    I was once in Greece just over the period when Lent was starting but hadn’t realized how much was going on.

    Hope you’ll do some more posts like that.

    Joy Healey recently posted..Head in the Clouds, Speeding up my BlogMy Profile

    March 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm
  • Corina Ramos

    Wow…I really need to get over my fear of flying and visit Greece! I love the Clean Monday idea.

    I love that I can work from home and enjoy things like this with my family. I was never able to that working in an office and I missed so much of my kid’s childhood.

    I take advantage of special events like this in our city too.
    Corina Ramos recently posted..Coming Soon – KOBO Arc 64GB GiveawayMy Profile

    March 26, 2013 at 3:16 am
  • Donna Merrill says:

    Thanks Pauline!

    I feel like I just visited a new country. I loved learning about these traditions. Plus, I enjoyed the pictures you have posted.

    I have wondered about certain things during this holiday and now I have a better understanding.

    Now I want to eat Greek Food!

    Donna Merrill recently posted..10 WaysTo Set Coaching BoundariesMy Profile

    March 26, 2013 at 7:44 pm

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