Public holidays in Greece

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According to Greek Law every Sunday of the year is a public holiday. In addition, there are four obligatory, official public holidays: March 25, Easter Monday, August 15 and December 25. Two more days, May 1 and October 28, are regulated by law as optional but it is customary for employees to be given the day off. There are, however, more public holidays celebrated in Greece than are announced by the Ministry of Labour each year as either obligatory or optional. The list of these non-fixed National Holidays rarely changes and has not changed in recent decades, giving a total of twelve National Holidays each year.

A public holiday that occurs on a Sunday is not transferred to another date, with the exception of May 1, which is regarded by the locals more as a General strike than a Public Holiday.

In addition to the National Holidays, there are Public Holidays that are not celebrated nationwide, but only by a specific professional group or a local community. For example many municipalities have a patron Saint also called 'Name Day' or a Liberation Day, and at this day is customary for schools to have a day off.

National holidays[edit]

National Holidays
Date English Name Greek Name (transliterated) Greek Name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Protochroniá Πρωτοχρονιά Also celebrated ecclesiastically as the feast of St. Basil the Great and of the Circumcision of Christ. 3
January 6 Epiphany or Theophany Theopháneia Θεοφάνεια 3
Easter – 41 days
Clean Monday or Shrove Monday Kathará Deutéra Καθαρά Δευτέρα The first day of Lent. Next: 23 February 2015 3
March 25 Annunciation Evangelismós tēs Theotókou Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου Celebration of the Annunciation – when the Incarnation of Logos was announced to the Virgin Mary. 1
Independence Day Eikostí-pémti Martíou
(lit. March 25)
Εικοστή Πέμπτη Μαρτιου Anniversary of the declaration of the start of Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, in 1821.
Easter – 2 days
Good Friday Megálē Paraskevē Μεγάλη Παρασκευή Next: 10 April 2015 3
moveable Easter Kyriakē tou Páscha Κυριακή του Πάσχα Next: 12 April 2015 *
Easter + 1 day
Easter Monday Deutéra tou Páscha Δευτέρα του Πάσχα Next: 13 April 2015 1
May 1 Labour Day Ergatikē Protomagiá
(lit. May 1 of the Workers)
Εργατική Πρωτομαγιά 2,4
Easter + 49 days
Pentecost or Whit Sunday Pentēkostē
(lit. 50th day)
Πεντηκοστή Next: May 31, 2015 *
Easter + 50 days
Pentecost Monday or Whit Monday Deutéra Pentēkostēs
(lit. Pentecost Monday) or Agíou Pnéumatos
(lit. Of the Holy Spirit)
Δευτέρα Πεντηκοστής or Αγίου Πνεύματος Monday of the Holy Spirit or Pentecost Monday. Next: June 1, 2015 3
August 15 Assumption or Dormition of the Holy Virgin Koímēsē tēs Theotókou Η Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου The most important celebration of the Virgin Mary. 1
October 28 Ochi Day 'To Ochi' or 'Imera tou Ochi"
(lit. Day of the "No")
Το Όχι or Ημέρα του Όχι Celebration of the Greek refusal to the Italian ultimatum of 1940. 2
December 25 Christmas Christoúgenna Χριστούγεννα 1
December 26 Glorifying Mother of God Sínaxis Hyperagías Theotókou Marías Σύναξις Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου Μαρίας The religious meaning of the holiday is a coming together to glorify the Theotokos.But in general and in effect the day is considered a holiday because it's the day after Christmas just like Boxing Day in some Commonwealth countries. 3

* Note that Easter Sunday and Pentecost, are not official holidays as they always occur on a Sunday
1 Obligatory, fixed by law
2 Optional, regulated by law
3 Customary, regulated by the Ministry
4 Regarded as a General Stike, can be transferred to another date.

Profession-specific holidays[edit]

Profession Specific Holidays
Date English Name Greek Name (transliterated) Greek Name Applies to Remarks
January 30 The Three Holy Hierarchs Trion Ierarchon Τριών Ιεραρχών Education Commemoration of the patron saints of education (St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom)
November 17 Polytechneio Polytechneio Πολυτεχνείο Education Anniversary of the 1973 students protests against the junta of the colonels (1967–1974).


External links[edit]

  • List of the various days envisaged as non-working days pursuant to Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1182/71 of June 3, 1971 [2]