2019: 12 Destinations For Each Month Of Greece – March
Introduction to the 12 Month Series - Around Greece
Growing up, I loved music and dancing.
Childhood being such an impressionable age I can still recall certain school plays, dance routines and little poems that we laughed and jumped around to in those years of innocent bliss.
There was this one cassette tape however, I can vividly recall singing along to and memorizing and driving everyone insane with. It was called the twelve months and it had twelve songs, one for each month of the year.
They were catchy and simple and looking back now, even a bit sentimental. Not that I minded that last part. You could say I always had a flare for the dramatic.
The twelve months of Greece were distinctive in mood and rhythm and lyrics. They had a message to pass and they did quite successfully. Every month is special, every month has something to offer.
If one wished, that message could stretch onto a whole range of areas of our lives. Differences between months, seasons, people, languages, all oh so evident but oh so exciting. Adding the necessary spice in our life.
If you know anything about Greece, then you must know that like the cassette of my childhood years, and the world we live in nowadays, it has variety, it has differences that can be discovered and it has spice.
March – Galaxidi
The beginning of spring, warmer days and the promise of summer coming closer.
March has always been a particularly pleasant month to look forward to. The first day of March is well anticipated and there is even a Greek tradition that goes with it. Οn the last day of February, mothers weave red and white bracelets to place on the wrist of their children. Some claims have this tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, when, during the Eleusinian Mysteries, people tied strings around their wrists and feet. Nowadays, the red and white string is said to protect the people who wear it from the harsh sun rays that are getting stronger.
The bracelets are worn from the 1st till the 31st and can be taken off to be placed at a tree branch or bush for birds to pick up and built their nest with.
The charming town of Galaxidi.
The town of Galaxidi is a suitable place to spend the month of March for many reasons. Mild weather, a charming port, quiet relaxation with few tourists and a rich historical background.
The 25th of March is celebrated for two reasons in Greece, a religious and a historical.
The religious holiday on the 25th of March marks 9 months before Christmas, and the Orthodox church celebrates this day as the Annunciation of Our Lady, the announcement of Archangel Gabriel to Mary that she will conceive a blessed child.
Church bells ring and hymns are sung, and whether you follow the Christian faith or not, visiting a church to partake in the festivities on the 25th of March is not a bad idea.
There is a secondary celebration during this day as well, however, and one that might not be so easy to miss. The 25th of March marks the beginning of the war on Independence after 400 years under the Ottoman empire.
Galaxidi was the first city in Central Greece to raise the flag of Independence and due to its historical importance as a ship-building town, with hard-working, reliable and capable ship captains, their fleet of vessels was at once sent to fight and defend.
Unfortunately, the town of Galaxidi was viciously attacked during the beginning of the Independence War and while it was defended heroically, it was destroyed twice and abandoned until 1829, the end of the war, when people were able to return and start rebuilding their houses.
All the cities and towns around Greece, mark this double celebration as a public holiday and march in the streets in military and civilian parades. Head to any city centre or square to experience the joy of this public holiday.
Depending on when Easter falls, either the whole month of March or parts of it fall within the lent period of the Orthodox Church, a time when no meat or dairy products are allowed to be consumed. (see February Easter and Orthodox celebrations here)
As an exception for this holiday, the church permits a certain celebratory meal – salty fried codfish traditionally accompanied by “skordalia” or garlic sauce. Head to any restaurant or tavern to partake in this Greek tradition.
- Stay tuned for the next installment of this monthly series. Twelve months, twelve destinations across Greece, each with something else to offer.
Hi, there! I am Rania and I am primarily responsible for the keystrokes behind the articles and blogposts on here. Everything you wanted to know about Greece and all the tools to help you plan your holiday! I am a daughter, a student, a lover of stories and a traveller. More of my writings can be found at Bachelor of Travel.