Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

National (Independence) Day - 25th March 2012

We left home to drive down to Patitiri about 10.30am knowing that the church service started around 10am and would probably last around half and hour.  When we arrived there were a few people around, so we stood and waited for the exodus from the church.  The children marching on National Day is a very big thing and lines are painted in the road beside the school to guide them along the road.  Father Avraam arrived from the church around 11.30am and the religious service at the war memorial started around 5 minutes later.  After the short religious ceremony, the civil ceremony began with the laying of wreaths on behalf of the different groups and services on the island.  Below is a picture of the war memorial with all the wreaths laid.

After the wreath laying ceremony had finished there was a minutes silence to honour the dead and then the school children all sang the National Anthem.  This was followed by a young lady reading from a script, about the gaining of independence by the Greek state.  This was followed by the presentation ceremony of award certificates to all the high achievers in the school.  After the presentation ceremony 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 to watch the marching display, which always starts with the youngest children in traditional Greek dress.  This year the marching took less time than in previous years because more of the year groups were combined.  As always the front group with the flag bearer went first, followed by the rest of the children and each group were very enthusiastically clapped as they marched along the road.

After the marching ended we all went into the amphitheatre where we were treated to a display of traditional dancing by one of the school dance groups and for the first time a group of adult dancers in traditional Alonissos dress.  Below is a picture of them about to start their first dance.  The school dance group performed very well and also joined in with the adults for a couple of dances.  It was somehow odd watching a dance group of people that we know from our everyday life who run the Post Office and various shops and tavernas but dancing together in traditional costume.

However, they were an absolute revelation considering they have only come together to dance for National Day.  When you watch the videos of them dancing you will see why the crowd enjoyed every minute of their performance.  It was a joy to the part of this celebration of Greek history and we look forward to the next one.

 

Marching Lines Painted on the Road
 

The Service at the War Memorial
 

Wreaths Layed at the War Memorial
 

History of Greek Independence Being Told
 

Youngest Children Marching in Traditional Greek Dress
 

Adult Dance Group In Traditional Costume
 

Adult Dance Group Ready to Dance
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