Ohi Day

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Oxi Day
Observed by Greece, Cyprus, and Greek diaspora
Celebrations family reunions, military and student parades
Date 28 October
Next time 28 October 2016 (2016-10)
Frequency annual
Emblem of the 8th Infantry Division, the first unit to face the Italian invasion: its motto is Ohi.

Oxi Day (pronounced Ohi Day, Greek: Επέτειος του «'Οχι» Greek pronunciation: [epˈetios tu ˈoçi] Epeteios tou "'Ohi", Anniversary of the "No") is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on 28 October each year. Ohi Day commemorates the rejection by Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940, the Hellenic counterattack against the invading Italian forces at the mountains of Pindus during the Greco-Italian War, and the Greek Resistance during the Axis occupation.


This ultimatum, which was presented to Metaxas by the Italian ambassador to Greece, Emanuele Grazzi (fr), shortly after 03:00 am on 28 October 1940, who had just come from a party in the Italian embassy in Athens, demanded Greece to 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!).[1][2]

In response to Metaxas's 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 28 October, the Greek population took to the streets, irrespective of political affiliation, shouting 'ohi'. From 1942, it was celebrated as Ohi Day, first mostly among the members of the resistance and after the war by all the Greeks.

The Greek island of Poros decorated in recognition of Ohi Day


During the war, 28 October 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 fictionalised 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]


  1. ^ Δημήτρης Σταθακόπουλος (25 October 2014). ""Alors, c'est la guerre" "επομένως πόλεμος", ή αλλιώς το λεγόμενο ΟΧΙ". Καλάβρυτα NEWS (in Greek). Archived from the original on 6 January 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Οχι. alors c'est la guerre". Iefimerida (in Greek). 25 October 2013. Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2015.