The following are national public holidays:
New Year’s Day – 1 Jan
Epiphany – 6 Jan Shrove Monday (First day of Lent) – movable (next: 15 Feb 2010)
Independence Day andΒ The Annunciation – 25 Mar
Good Friday – movable (next 2 Apr 2010)
Easter Sunday – movable (next: 4 Apr 2010)
Easter Monday – movable (next: 5 Apr 2010)
May Day / Labor Day – 1 May
Pentecost Whit Sunday – movable (next: 23 May 2010)
Pentecost Whit Monday – movable (next: 24 May 2010)
Assumption of Our Lady – 15 Aug
WWII Day / “OXI Day” – 28 Oct
Christmas – 25 Dec
Saint Stephen’s – 26 Dec
The nation’s three most important holidays are Christmas, Easter, and the Assumption. Christmas tends to be a private, family holiday, but lights and decorations adorn city squares across the country. Assumption Day is a major summer festival for many towns and islands. Easter weekend is perhaps the most flamboyant of all holidays; religious processions on Good Friday and the following Saturday evening culminate in exuberant fireworks at midnight, Easter morning.
Contrary to most national holidays in other countries, Independence Day in Greece is a very sober holiday. There is a school flag parade in every town and village and a big armed forces parade in Athens.
Although not an official holiday, pre-Lenten carnival is a major celebration in cities throughout the country, with Patras hosting the country’s largest and most famous events. Carnival season comes to an extravagent ending the weekend before Lent begins, with costumes, float parades, and various regional traditions.
In addition to nation-wide holidays and celebrations, many towns and regions have their ownΒ regional festivals commemorating various historical events, local patron saints, or wine harvests.
Note that the Greek Orthodox Church uses a different method to determine the date of Easter than the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant churches. Therefore, Greek Orthodox Easter and – derived from that – Holy Week and Pentecost usually fall one or two weeks later than their Roman Catholic and Protestant counterparts, but they do sometimes coincide (as will be the case for 2010, 2011, 2014, 2017 and 2025).