22 Dec

1821 Memorial Parade Crete

Greece’s fiscal crisis may be showing little signs of becoming resolved but that doesn’t seem to stop the nation’s insatiable thirst to celebrate the country’s tremendously inspirational history.

The island of Crete, besides having a 1000 kilometre-long coastline, sporadically covered in coves, peninsulas and bays, boasting soft, yellow sand, certainly is no exception when it comes to celebrating in style the things that mean the most to the locals. One festival on Crete’s hectic events calendar that would never falter from Cretan’s dairy, is the 1821 Memorial Parade.

Taking place on 25 March each year, all of the officers from the Cretan army take to the main street in Heraklion to commemorate the Greek uprising against Ottoman rule in 1821. Both locals and visitors alike line Heraklion’s streets to applaud and cheer on the soldiers as a mark of respect for what happened here in 1821.

Heraklion is the capital of Crete and is the fourth largest city in Greece. Its vast size is matched with a vibrant culture and when one walks around this pulsating city, which, being the commercial and technology centre of the island, possesses a blend of traditionalism and cosmopolitanism that is absent from most of Greece, it is hard to believe that this fascinating nation is experiencing the financial troubles it is currently suffering.

The wealth of museums in Heraklion sheds light on the city’s and the rest of Crete’s enthralling history, as does its year-round devotion to hosting numerous social events, including a summer-long arts festival, music festivals, and of course events and celebrations dedicated to the city’s memorable historical feats, and none more so than the 1821 Memorial Parade, which is guaranteed to make a visit to Heraklion on March 25, a memorable one.