compass image and text: Culture Quest World Tour Ophelia Owl on the arm of Parsifal Peguin


Greek Independence Day

March 25:

A national holiday in Greece to celebrate the anniversary of the country's proclamation of independence in 1821 after four centuries of Turkish occupation. The war that followed went on until 1829 when finally the Turkish sultan recognized the independence of Greece. The day is marked with church services and military parades--an especially impressive parade is held in Athens. Greek communities in other parts of the world also observe the day.

Holiday of the Three Hierarchs

January 30:

In 11th century Greece every conversation turned to the same controversy. Which of the three 4th-century saints was the greatest of the Orthodox church? Was is St. Basil the Great, the beloved spiritual leader who created orphanages and hospitals? Was it St. Gregory the Theologian, whose leadership kept the church together during a time of crisis? Or was is St. John Chrysostom, the wonderful speaker who had "a mouth of gold"? In 1081, Bishop John of Galatia had a vision in which the three saints appeared to him telling him that they were equal in the eyes of God. The church set aside a day to commemorate their equality. Greek schools have celebrated this day as the Holiday of the Three Hierarchs ever since.