Today, Greece marks its 190th Independence Day, commemorating the beginning of the War of Independence, against the Ottoman Empire, in 1821. The day has a double meaning for Greeks, as it coincides with the Greek Orthodox Church’s celebration of the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would bear the son of God.
In celebration of Greek Independence Day, towns and villages throughout Greece hold a school flag parade, during which schoolchildren march in traditional Greek costumes and carry Greek flags. There is also an armed forces parade in Athens. At the same time, the churches celebrate the Festival of the Annunciation with pomp, ceremony, and joy. The spectacle is especially vivid on the islands of Tinos and Idra (Hydra).
Greek Independence Day is also celebrated by many of the Greeks of the Diaspora.