25th of March is celebrated as the national day of Greece, in the commemoration of the start of the war of independence in 1821 to get rid of slavery of the Ottoman Empire. 25th of March is a national holiday in Greece and Cyprus that is celebrated with full zeal and zest. Parades are arranged by school children marching in their traditional dresses while carrying flags. Additionally, a major part of celebration comprises of the annual parade of military personnel, which is attended by the head of state and other highly esteemed officials, along with a large crowd of civilians.
“Hymn to Greece” is the national anthem of Greece. It is based on a poem that was written in 1823 by Dionysios Solomos. This poem is comprised of 158 stanzas, and hence this national anthem was considered as the longest of all national anthems. However, in 1865 the national anthem was reduced to three stanzas and later on was further reduced to two stanzas only. Nikolaos Mantazaros gave the music to the original poem.
Greece National Anthem Video And Download link:
Greece National Anthem Audio And Download link:
The Greek flag is termed as “blue-white” or “sky-blue-white,” which also represents the national symbol of Greece. The flag was introduced on 13th of January, 1822, since then it has undergone numerous revisions in its color. The flag contains horizontal blue and white stripes alternating with each other and a white color cross on a blue square drawn in the top left corner of the flag. The nine horizontal lines represent the “Freedom or Death” (translated Greece phrase comprising of nine alphabets). Another explanation says that the nine lines on the flag symbolize the nine muses.
The Coat of arms of Greece is the national emblem of Greece, comprising of a white cross on a blue escutcheon contained in two laurel twigs. This emblem has been representing Greece since 1975 with several revisions. In history, many non-heraldic designs of emblem have been used while the first heraldic design was prepared in 1832, which is still in use since then.
Capital of The Nation
Athens is the capital of Greece. Besides being the largest city of Greece, Athens is also known as one of the oldest cities of the world with an estimated age of 3400 years. Athens also serves as the financial hub in southeastern Europe largely because of its port Piraeus, which the largest port of Europe and the second largest port of the world. The majority of Athens’ population resides in its urban area.
Euro, symbolized as €, is the national currency of Greece. It exists in three forms including banknotes with denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500; coins with denominations of 1 euro and 2 euro, and cents exist in the denomination of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50. The currency notes vary in color such as deep green, yellow-green, deep blue, and deep purple, all of the good quality. As the Euro has its recognition in all eurozone member states, hence can be used without any money exchange issues.
National dress of Greece includes chiton and peplos, which are simple dresses designed from a single rectangular-shaped piece of cloth having a hole for the head. Chiton covers a small part of arms while peplos is a sleeveless dress. Himation is another part of dress worn as a shroud over chiton and peplos. Greek men wear long robes reaching their knees, while robes of Greek females cover their ankles too. During summers linen dresses are mostly used to beat the heat.
Blue and white are referred to as the national color of Greeks. These colors are present in Greece flag symbolizing freedom. Greeks have used these colors in history as a symbol of revolts against the Ottoman Empire before 1821. The order of merit of Greece and military awards both have ribbons of national color wrapped around them. Greeks also use national colors to decorate pigeons that are released at the time of awarding the winner of Olympics with medal and shield.
Dionysios Solomos (Apr 1798 – Feb 1857), from Zakynthos, is regarded as the national poet of Greece. He is famous for writing a long poem comprising 158 stanzas based on freedom and independence from Ottoman rule. Nikolaos Mantzaros gave this poem music, and years later, this poem was adopted as the national anthem of Greece. Initially, its three stanzas and afterward only two stanzas were retained as the national anthem.
Olympic Airlines, previously known as Olympic Airways, has served as the national airline of Greece for a minimum of fort years. It was founded in April 1957 and was ceased in 2009 and sold its name and logo to Olympic Air. Its main hub is Athens International Airport, and secondary hubs include Thessaloniki International Airport, Macedonia. Prior to 2009, Olympic Airlines served flights to 37 national and 32 international destinations covering 23 countries.
The National Archaeological Museum, in Athens, is a national museum of Greece and one of the world’s largest museums. There are placed several archeological samples representing the ancient Greeks. It contains collections of different periods such as prehistoric collections, Egyptian art collections, and Stathatos collection. Museum holds collections of statues work, ornaments, war ammunition, tools, old currency, toys, and other antique objects.
The National Library of Greece is situated in the central area of the city of Athens. It was architected by a Danish architect as a segment of main architecture designing including Academy of Athens and Athens University. It houses books, articles, journals, newspapers, magazines, archives, and other relevant documents. There are almost 4500 Greek documents/ writings placed in this library. Those writings are accepted and kept in shelves that are produced locally or written in abroad but are related to Greece in any way.
Olympic Stadium is the national stadium of Greece which hosts the matches and tournaments of Greek national game that is football. It is located in Athens and is a part of the Athens Olympic Sports Complex. The stadium is named as Spyros Louis, based on the first up to date Olympic marathon gold medalist. It has served as the main host of the 2004 Summer Olympics. Its construction was started in 1980 and was inaugurated in 1982. Its lower tier has the seating capacity of 26000 persons. It has a total capacity of 68,079 persons.
National game of Greece is football, and there are a total of 50 football stadiums in Greece. Association football has been the most admired team in Greece and is governed by the Hellenic Football Federation formed in 1926, which is also an eminent member of FIFA. The status of the football game was further strengthened in Greece when Greece unexpectedly emerged as Euro 2004 champions. Olympic games have been originated from Greece; hence sports have great importance for Greece.
The Haliacmon also called as Aliakmonas or Aliakmon is the national river of Greece. Its is the longest river spreading to 185 miles and is the only river in Greece that is not cross bordered. Greece has rivers that originate from neighboring countries such as Evros originates from Bulgaria and the Axios from North Macedonia. This river hosts a vast variety of sea creatures such as carp, eel, tuna, salmon, brown trout, Mediterranean sand smelt, dogfish, and school shark. In the past, this river has been used as a shield from northern infringement.
Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece, elevated to 2,919 meters and its peak named as Mytikas. It is located in Olympus Range and surrounded by the states of Thessaly and Macedonia. Based on Greek mythology, this peak is sacred, as it has served as a place of Greek Gods. It has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has also been serving as the first and national park of Greece since 1938.
There exist twelve national parks in Greece. The reason for such a great number of national parks is its climate that is very much suitable for a diversity of life, including flora and fauna. The first national park was Mount Olympus constructed in 1962, followed by prompt construction of Parnassos National Park to accommodate the diversity. The most recent national park created in 1999 in Greece is Zakynthos National Marine Park. Each park is divided into different specific segments such as scientific area, recreational area, fish farming, camping and hiking areas.
Attica Zoological Park, situated in Athens, is the largest private zoo in Greece covering an area of a 20-hectare. It houses around 2000 animals belonging to 400 species. The zoo remains open 365 days per year. The European Association of Zoos and Aquariums is the administrative authority of Attica Zoological Park. This zoo has set standards of caging animals, maintain their diet and health, and of their breeding plans.
There is no specific forest in Greece, which the Greeks regard as a national forest. Instead, there are many forests in Greece having their diversity of flora and fauna. Greek Forests consist of woods of coniferous trees such as pine, fir and deciduous trees including oak, beech, maple and others covering 25% of the landmass. Greek forests compose a valuable natural legacy not only for Greece but for entire Europe.
The olive tree (Olea europaea) is the national tree of Greece. Olive trees are found in abundance in Greece and serve as an important ingredient of Greeks’ diet. Likewise, olive oil is also a distinctive ingredient of the local population. It was first found in the eastern Mediterranean but was first in Greece, after which it has been considered as an essential element of Greece.
Bear’s Breech (Acanthus Mollis), belonging to genus Acanthus, is known as the national flower of Greece. It is an herbaceous plant having rhizome, and it is also regarded as an invasive plant. It optimally grows in Mediterranean regions such as Portugal and northwest Africa and is recognized as the earliest grown, cultivated plant. Its habitats include wastelands, drylands, and wild places.
Dolphin is the national animal of Greece. The reason why dolphin is taken up as a national animal is based primarily on myths, including Greek gods. Greeks consider Dolphins as an intelligent creature having a great sense of altruism. This is the reason why killing the dolphin is considered a highly forbidden act, and the death penalty has been chosen for the one killing the dolphin.
The little owl is the national bird of Greece. Regarding food and habitat, Greece is very much suitable for owls; this is the reason they are found abundantly in Greece. In Greek history, the owl has been considered as the sacred bird, and in days of battles, if any owl found flying over the army troops, it was interpreted as the sign of victory.
There is no specific national fruit of Greece. However, Watermelon is much liked and eaten the fruit in all parts of Greece. It is considered as the king of summer fruits, that is used in one form or the other such as eaten as a fruit and equally popular and tasty is its juice. Contrarily, apricots, peaches, cherries, and other nectar fruits are relished in winters.
There is no specific vegetable that Greeks regard as their national vegetable. Greeks choice of vegetables depends on seasons and in summers, horiaktiki salatas, is also called Greek salad is considered as the favorite mix of vegetables for Greeks. On the other hand, lachano-marouli Salata (cabbage-lettuce salad) or simple marouli (lettuce) Salata is a delicious vegetable mix of winters.
Fasolada is considered as the national dish of Greece. It is made by cooking Fasolakia, green beans, in tomato sauce. This is considered as one of the favorite soups of Greeks.
There is no specific national sweet of Greeks. However, there are several desserts considered as traditional to Greece. These include Loukoumades, Portokalopita, Galaktoboureko, Theeples, and Halvas. Honey, fruits, and sesame are the main ingredients used in making delicious Greek desserts.
Ouzo is the national drink of Greeks. It is a type of brandy mixed with aniseed, having wonderful flavor and aroma. This drink is the pride of Greece and popular among all drink lovers. Besides aniseed, other aromas are also added in the drink such as masticha, cinnamon, cloves or fennel. Ouzo is worldwide recognized as a Greek product.
There are twelve national holidays in Greece. Among them 1st January is celebrated as New Year’s Day; Epiphany falls on January 6, clean Monday is celebrated on March 11; Greek independence day is celebrated on 25th March. Orthodox Good Friday is celebrated on April 26; Orthodox Easter Monday is celebrated on April 29. Protomagia falls on May 01; June 17 is renowned as Holy spirit Monday; assumption day is celebrated on August 15, October 28 is celebrated as national anniversary day; December 25 as Christmas day and December 26 is celebrated as Synaxis of the Mother of God.
Greece is ranked as 51st largest country depending on its economy that is having GDP of $203.086 billion per annum. Additionally, based on its purchasing power parity, Greece is ranked as the 55th world’s largest country. Greece is a developed country, and 80% of its economy is based on services, 16% based on industries, and 4% economy depends on agriculture. The earlier currency adopted by Greeks was drachma; however, in 2001, Greece also joined the eurozone.