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Greek Public Holidays

When, why & how it affects you
When purchasing a property abroad, several aspects of life in a specific country can affect the timeline of certain projects. It is always good to know a little something about the culture of the place you buy in, so here’s something relevant to you - public holidays!
Greece is an almost entirely Orthodox Christin country, where the Church has a strong presence in traditional celebrations and still plays a part - lessened over the years but very present - in the people’s cultural life.
Here are some dates to consider below:
New Year’s Day When: Jan 1st Why: celebration of new calendar year How it affects you: most retailers closed early day before (New Year’s Eve) * try some pie!
Epiphany When: Jan 6th Why: religious holiday - revelation of the infant Jesus Christ to the 3 Magi How it affects you: public services and some retailers closed all day
Clean Monday (Cathará Deftéra) When: movable - Feb/March Why: religious holiday - beginning of Lent How it affects you: public services and some retailers closed all day * usual celebrations include delicious seafood!
Independence Day When: March 25th Why: commemoration of the Greek revolution against Ottoman occupation in 1821 How it affects you: annual military parade set in Athens city center - persistent traffic disruption, all public services closed for certain hours * usual celebrations include fried cod with traditional garlic dip - yum! (surprise - more food...)
Greek Easter When: movable - usually within mid-late April Why: religious holiday - resurrection of Christ How it affects you: all retailers & public services closed during all of Easter weekend * usual celebrations include lamb or goat roasted on a spit! (wow, we sure eat a lot...)
Labor Day When: May 1st Why: public holiday - anniversary of worker union’s struggles How it affects you: public services closed all day
* extra bonus fact: once the weather improves in summer (early Jun), owners make frequent use of maintenance crews for outdoor home improvements, so Jun-Jul can be a difficult time to find handymen
Holy Spirit Day When: movable - May/June Why: religious holiday How it affects you: public services closed all day
Festival of the Dormition When: August 15th Why: religious holiday - dormition of the Virgin Mary How it affects you: this is perhaps the most significant holiday, as it signals summer vacations for most Greeks and can last for a week or (much) more! Most retailers and public services usually close for a week before and/or after this date - hours announced in advance * try catching a outside the city - a traditional festival, usually featuring live music and dancing (and of course food...)!
OHI Day When: Oct 28th Why: commemoration of Greek opposition to fascist forces during WW2 How it affects you: annual military parade set in Athens city center - persistent traffic disruption and closed public services for certain hours
Christmas When: Dec 25th Why: religious holiday - birth of Christ How it affects you: all retailers & public services closed on/a bit before and/or after this date * the dinner table varies - pork, lamb, turkey are all contenders * extra bonus fact: it gets cold usually around December onwards, so most outdoor maintenance work ceases around that time
Planning around these dates in advance will save you some frustration down the line and maintain a steady flow for any work – physical or bureaucratic – required for your property.
With at your side, you needn’t worry about this - we plan our work around these times for obvious practical reasons and keep you posted about any of your property’s requirements.
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