Celebrating Greek National Day Through Culture And Cuisine

The Greek ambassador and esteemed guests celebrated Greek National Day in an evening filled with traditional music, activities, and authentic delicacies.

Greek National Day that celebrates the 1821 Greek Revolution takes place every March 25 coinciding with the Feast of the Annunciation.

Greek National Day was held earlier in Manila on March 21 at the ballroom of The Fairmont Makati Hotel because the actual day would have fallen during Holy Week.

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The public holiday in Greece and Cyprus’s largest event is the military parade in Athens on March 25.  The holiday acknowledges the successful Greek War of Independence (1821–1829) that was fought to liberate and decolonize Greece from four centuries of Ottoman occupation. After nine years of war, Greece was finally recognized as an independent state under the London Protocol of February 1830. Further negotiations in 1832 led to the London Conference and the Treaty of Constantinople, which defined the final borders of the new state and recognized the king. The holiday was established in 1838 with a Royal Decree by King Otto’s government.

L-R: Ralph Joseph, Mexican Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph,Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, Argentinian Ambassador Ricardo Bocalandro
L-R: Kai Moreno, Amaya Barreto, Bianca Zobel, Stanley Ng, and Cristal Bagatsing

Greek Ambassador Ioannis Pediotis and his wife Aliki Pappas turned the ballroom into everything Greek complete with bouzouki players and the traditional plate smashing during the Greek dancing. Great Greek cuisine served that night included dolmadakia (rice stuffed grape leaves), moussaka (layered eggplant and meat casserole), souvlaki (grilled skewers of marinated pork with pita bread), pastitsio (baked pasta with ground beef and cream sauce), baklava, yiaourti meli kai karidia (Greek yogurt with honey and nuts), and so much more!

Raffle prizes such as vacation packages around the Philippines and trips to Greece delighted guests who were each presented with a bracelet with an “evil eye” upon entry and a mug printed with English words that originated from the Greek language as a souvenir of a wonderful evening.

Photos by Pepper Teehankee.

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