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Monday 28th October 2013

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Oxci Day celebrates the ultimatum which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador in Greece, Emanuele Grazzi, on October 28, 1940, after a party in the German embassy in Athens, where it was demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!) However, his actual reply was, Alors, c'est la guerre (Then it is war).

In response to Metaxas's refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian , attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am—the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II. On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'ochi'. From 1942, it was celebrated as Oxi Day.

After World War II, Oxi Day became a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. The events of 1940 are commemorated annually with military and student parades. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with.

On Ithaca, there are parades in Stavros and in Vathy. Unfortunately, both ceremonies happen around the same time, so it's a bit of a rush for me to be in the north and the south, so some parts of the ceremony are missed out on. Luckily this year, there was no rain on this parade. A beautiful day greeted Ithacans as they rose to this public holiday celebration.

Oxi Day - Stavros

Oxi Day - Vathy

For more pics click on the link below as we continue with the parade.

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