How October 28 is celebrated as Ohi Day in Greece

This holiday commemorates the participation of Greece in World War II. An interesting point is that the Greeks do not celebrate the day the war ended or the day of victory, but the day they entered the war.

On October 28, 1940, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini issued an ultimatum to Greece, according to which the country was to give the right of passage through its territory to the troops of the Nazi coalition and to assist them. Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas replied: «Oh!», which means «No!» in Greek. Greece made a choice — entered the war against Mussolini and Hitler.

Italian armies immediately invaded Greece from the territory of the previously occupied Albania. The Greeks initially retreated, but quickly seized the initiative and drove the Italians back, expelled from their land. Mussolini was forced to ask for help from his «big brother». On April 5, the offensive against Greece was launched by the Wehrmacht (the army of Nazi Germany). The Germans defeated the Greek army and several British divisions helping the Greeks in 3 weeks.

The Greeks fought very worthily in World War II. Of course, they could not stand the war on two fronts, what is so surprising about that? Let’s not forget that the Wehrmacht in the spring of 1941 was forced not to engage in planned preparations for the invasion of the USSR, but to deal with the Greek problem. And the invasion of the USSR began on June 22, and not at the beginning of May, as Hitler had planned. Who knows, if the Greeks had not said “Oh!”, perhaps for us the war would have turned out much worse.

The holiday is widely celebrated. Arrange parades, the main military in Athens and Thessaloniki. In smaller cities, parades are often without military personnel, but firefighters, policemen, schoolchildren, students, trade unionists, members of political parties are marching. It happens that employees of any enterprise are marching. In general, if one of the Greeks wants to take part in the parade, then they do it on Ohi Day.

For tourists in resorts, Ohi Day usually goes unnoticed, only in water parks and attractions there are more people. Everywhere hang out the national flag of Greece. If you are staying in a hotel in the city, you will probably be able to watch the local parade.