Greek communities in Australia gear up for Greek Independence Day

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Greek communities across Australia are gearing up to celebrate Greek Independence Day on Monday, March 25th. 

This special day commemorates the start of the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire in 1821 and is a time for Greeks to come together and represent their culture and heritage through various festivities.

With a wide variety of events planned for this special day in Greek history, The Greek Herald has a rundown of what’s happening around Australia.

New South Wales:

In New South Wales, there are several celebrations taking place. 

On Sunday, March 24, the Greek Orthodox Community of New South Wales (GOCNSW) in conjunction with the Parishes-Communities of NSW of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, will be holding a Greek Independence Day march to the Sydney Opera House.

This event is a crowd favourite in the Greek community of Sydney and is being held for the first time since 2020, when it was first cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

opera house
An event will be held at the Sydney Opera House.

The event on March 24 will begin with a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony at 1pm at the Martin Place Cenotaph in Sydney. The march to the Opera House will then follow at 2:30 pm, with formalities and entertainment.

Amongst council celebrations in Burwood, Canterbury-Bankstown and Marrickville, AHEPA NSW will also be holding its annual Greek Independence Day event on Wednesday, March 27. The event will be held at AHEPA NSW Hall in Rockdale from 7pm.

Victoria:

To celebrate Greek Independence Day in Victoria, the Greek Community of Melbourne (GCM) is hosting its annual 25thMarch Dinner Dance. Held on Friday, March 22 at 6:30 pm at the Panarcadian Association Hall, attendees will be given the opportunity to enjoy a sit-down meal with friends and family before hitting the dance floor. The Greek band ‘Anagennisi’ band will be performing laiko-style Greek songs everyone knows and loves to dance to.

An annual parade will also be held by the Victorian Council for Greek National Day on Sunday, April 14, at Lakeside Stadium. This event invites members of the community to come together and march for the national Greek holiday. Archbishop Makarios of Australia is expected to make an appearance, along with representatives from state and federal governments.

Kids holding Greek flags.
Kids dressed in traditional costumes holding Greek flags. Photo copyright The Greek Herald / Giorgos Psomiadis.

The Pammessinian Brotherhood of Melbourne – “Papaflessas” is also hosting a Greek Independence Day gala in St Kilda, Victoria. The 65th Annual Independence Day Greek Dance will be held on Saturday, March 23 at the St Kilda’s Town Hall ballroom, and will feature a live Greek music performance by Omados, a Melbourne band who perform traditional dance music from all over Greece.

South Australia:

In South Australia, the Greek Orthodox Community of SA Inc (GOSCA) is also hosting a special event to commemorate the Greek national day – The Greek Independence Day Memorial Service and Celebration. It will takeplace on Sunday, March 24.

The Greek community in South Australia is invited to attend the Liturgy and Doxology at the Cathedral of Archangels Michael & Gabriel from 8 am, and following this, at 11 am, there will be a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony held at the courtyard of the Cathedral.

The celebration will then continue from 12pm at Olympic Hall, where people will be able to attend a special lunch and students from GOCSA’s Greek Schools will perform poems and songs. There will also be traditional dance performances by GOCSA Dance Academy too.

Australian Capital Territory:

In honour of Greek Independence Day, the nation’s capital is also putting on a series of events to celebrate.

For the first time, the Hellenic Club of Canberra at Woden is holding ‘Greek Week’ from Monday, March 19 to Monday, March 25. Members of the community are invited to enjoy all things Greek from food, wine, music, performances and more.

On each day of the week-long celebrations there will be Greek food specials at the Hellenic Club, a $5 Ouzotini, Greek café sweets on offer and free koulourakia with coffee purchases.

Throughout this event, there will also be a Greek Themed Trivia on Tuesday, March 19, Greek Wine Tasting on Wednesday, March 20, a Greek Night with DJ Stav at Fillos on Thursday, March 21, Greek Wine Tasting on Friday, March 22, the ENDOURO Fight Series with two headlining Greek fighters on Saturday, March 23, a screening of the Greek theatre show – Omorfi Poli (with English subtitles) on the Sunday, March 24, and finally, on Monday, March 25, there will be performances by the Hellenic Dancers and Kefi Band.

Another event taking place will be on Sunday, March 30, where the Greek community in Canberra will host their formal festivities. The day will start with a church service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Kingston, then a presentation of poems and a song from students of the Greek School of Canberra. To follow will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Greek War memorial at 12 pm.

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