Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

National (Independence) Day - 25th March 2008

We drove down from the Old Town to Patitiri aiming to be there around 10.30am.  We met the procession coming from the church, so we parked outside TechnoKids and walked down at the back of the procession to the Dimos Offices where the war memorial is located.  Around the war memorial were members of the council, the local services, children from the school and a crowd of islanders.  A man then went up to a microphone and said a few words and then proceeded to act as a commentator to introduce each person involved in the wreath laying.

Wreaths were laid by the Mayor, uniformed representatives from the Alonissos Police, Coast Guard and Fire Service and an old man who may have been an ex-soldier and was laying on behalf of war veterans.  The children were next from each school year going up in turn to the war memorial to lay their wreaths.  Some singley and others in pairs.  We have done a picture collage of some of the wreath laying.  After the wreath laying ceremony had finished some music started which the children all sang along to.  We assume this was the National Anthem.  A man then took the microphone and read from some papers giving an account of the history of Greece gaining indepencence.

A ceremony then took place where school children who had earned special credit or merit during the school year were presented with certificates and some with certificates and medals.  Four different people were invited to present the certificates to the children and you can see a picture collage of the presentation ceremonies.  After the presentations had finished, the school children headed off to the top of the high street to form up into their year groups for the marching parade.  The crowds moved to stand along the road to Roussoum Yialos, some facing the Koutouki Taverna and the others facing the school building.

The music started and the first group to march along the road were the very youngest children dressed in traditional Greek dress.  After they had paraded through each of the school years followed with a flag bearer and a few of their year in front, followed shortly after by all the rest of the class marching along the road.  This continued until every group had marched passed the assembled crowd.  Each were enthusiastically clapped as they went passed and all were obviously very proud to be part of the commemoration of Independence Day.

After the parade had finished we went over to the amphitheatre where we were treated to a display of traditional dancing by three dance groups of different age groups ranging from young through middle to older children.  All performed superbly and after the dancing finished we went down to the harbour with friends to enjoy a drink and chat about the events of the day.

 

Account of the History of Greece Gaining Indepencence
 

Marching Parade
 

Very Youngest Children Dressed in Traditional Greek Dress
 

School Children With their Flag Bearer
 

Youngest School Greek Dance Group
 

Middle School Greek Dance Group
 

Older School Greek Dance Group
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