Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

National (Independence) Day - 25th March 2011

We walked down from the Old Town to Patitiri about 11.00am and saw the procession coming from the church towards the Dimos Offices at the top of Patitiri.  When we arrived a large crowd was gathering by the war memorial.  The ceremony started with a service given by Father Avraam.  This was followed by a wreath laying ceremony involving the Mayor, representatives from the Police, Coast Guard, Fire Service, scouts and an ex-soldier, followed by children according to their school years.  This was immediately followed by a minutes silence.

After the wreath laying ceremony had finished the National Anthem was sung and a short history of Greek Independence was read.  A ceremony then took place where school children who had earned special credit or merit during the school year were presented with their certificates.  After the final presentation 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 to watch them march.

As usual the marching music was blaring out as the first group started to march who are always the youngest children in traditional Greek dress.  After they had finished each of the school years followed with a front group including a flag bearer, 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 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 dance groups of different ages from the school, watched over by Maria their dance teacher.  As always the groups were step perfect and were loudly applauded by the crowd at the end of every dance.

 

Crowd Assembling by the War Memorial
 

Father Avraam Conducting the Service
 

History of Greek Independence Being Told
 

Children Heading off for the Marching
 

Youngest Children Marching in Traditional Greek Dress
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