March 25 is a landmark in the history of the Greek Nation. The Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire leading to freedom and independence started on March 25 1821. All over Greece and Cyprus, the day is celebrated with parades and tributes to our illustrious ancestors and the great heroes of 1821 whose self-denial opened up the road to Independence: Georgios Karaiskakis , Theodoros Kolokotronis, Athanasios Diakos, Laskarina Bouboulina, Lord Byron and many others told the world that freedom can only be gained through sacrifice and patriotism.
The Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453 and the Greeks remained under the Ottoman rule for nearly 400 years. During this time their language, their religion and their sense of identity became stronger than ever before. On March 25, 1821, the bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese and the Greek revolution started against the Turks. Shouting out "Freedom or Death", the people of Greece, faithful to their heroic heritage, fought the War of Independence for 9 years until a small part of modern Greece was finally liberated and declared an independent nation. The struggle for the liberation of all the lands inhabited by Greeks continued. In 1864, the Ionian islands were added to Greece; in 1881 parts of Epirus and Thessaly. Crete, the islands of the Eastern Aegean and Macedonia were added in 1913 and Western Thrace in 1919. After World War II the Dodecanese islands were also returned to Greece.
The Greek Revolution is interpreted by many Europeans as a battle between the ideals of the ancient Greeks against the ruthless Turks who had been occupying and suppressing the descendents of Pericles, Socrates and Plato. Many, including the British poet Lord Byron volunteered to fight in order to support the greek cause for freedom. Lord Byron spent the last year of his life in Greece, where he had fully invested himself in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire.
In Larnaca, just like in every single town or city of the Republic of Cyprus, 25 March was celebrated with a grand parade of the younger generation determined to preserve our heroic heritage.
Hope you enjoy the video - just a glimpse of the parade in Larnaca.