Ohi Day

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Ohi Day
Observed by Greece, Cyprus
Date October 28
Next time 28 October 2015 (2015-10-28)
Frequency annual
Emblem of the 8th Infantry Division, the first unit to face the Italian invasion. Its motto is Ohi

Ohi Day (also spelled Ochi Day, Greek: Επέτειος του «'Οχι»[needs IPA] Epeteios tou "'Ohi", Anniversary of the "No") is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on October 28 each year, to commemorate the rejection by Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas (in power from August 4, 1936, until January 29, 1941) of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940.


This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi (fr), on October 28, 1940, at dawn (04:00 am), after a party in the German embassy in Athens, demanded that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified "strategic locations" or otherwise face war. It was allegedly answered with a single laconic word: όχι (No!) However, his actual reply was, Alors, c'est la guerre (Then it is war).[citation needed]

In response to Metaxas' refusal, Italian troops stationed in Albania, then an Italian protectorate, attacked the Greek border at 05:30 am—the beginning of Greece's participation in World War II (see Greco-Italian War and the Battle of Greece).

On the morning of October 28 the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'ochi'. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day.

The Greek island of Poros decorated in recognition of Ohi Day


During the war, October 28 was commemorated yearly by Greek communities around the world and in Greece and Cyprus, and after World War II it became a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus. The events of 1940 are commemorated every year with military and student parades. On every anniversary, most public buildings and residences are decorated with Greek flags.

Cultural references[edit]

The novel Captain Corelli's Mandolin features a fictionalized account of the meeting between Metaxas and Grazzi, written from Grazzi's point of view. The metal band Sabaton reference this event in the title track of their album Coat of Arms.

See also[edit]