Across the country the coming week will see a number of parades, the much anticipated parelasi, grace the streets of the nation’s largest cities as diaspora Greeks mark 25 March; Greek Independence Day.
In Victoria, the annual march celebrating the revolution of 1821 will make its return to the city of Melbourne after a three-year hiatus, on Sunday 19 March from 1pm.
Taking place for the first time this year at Albert Park’s Lakeside Stadium, Greeks and philhellenes from across the state are expected to attend, celebrating the occasion alongside friends and family and the community at large.
Attendees should note that as this year’s parade will be held within Lakeside Stadium proper, it’s recommended to arrive with time to spare so they can find a place to enjoy the spectacle.
Thanks to the new venue’s facilities, revelers can rest assured there will be ample seating.
As per the official schedule, the parade will begin with a procession of the Dormition of the Theotokos.
It will be followed by Greek, Cypriot and Australian flags held high in tow and a recitation of the revolutionary oath sworn by the liberation leaders of 1821 at the monastery of Agia Lavra.
In short order, drumming bands from our community’s schools will march in performance for the parades honorary opening.
Members of Victoria and the Australian Federal Police, as well as State Ambulance, Fire and Emergency services personnel will take part in the parade.
And of course, delegations from over 60 community federations, organisations, schools and various other bodies of the Greek community will march before crowds.
Archbishop Makarios of Australia will be in attendance, while both State and Federal Governments have been invited to the event.
The Victorian Council for Greek National Day invites all to join in the anniversary celebrations.
In NSW, Sydney’s traditional march to the Opera House will not go ahead this year.
Instead the Greek Orthodox Community of NSW in association with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia (GOAA) and Sydney’s Greek Orthodox parishes are inviting attendees to a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony at the Martin Place cenotaph on Sunday 26 March at 12pm.
Entertainment and formal addresses will follow from 1pm to 3pm at the Sydney Town Hall, it should be noted that the meeting place for this event will be St Andrews Square.
South Australia’s observation of Greek Independence Day will also take place on Sunday 26 March under the purview of the GOAA’s Archdiocesan District of Adelaide.
The day’s activities will begin at 7.30am with the Divine Liturgy and Doxology at the Archiepiscopal Church of Saint Sophia in Adelaide’s inner-city suburb of Bowden.
Thereafter a memorial service will take place at the War Memorial in North Terrace from 12.30pm officiated by Bishop Silouan of Sinope, followed by a wreath laying ceremony presided over by Consul General of Greece in Adelaide, George Psiachas.
Following the wreath laying, students of the colleges, afternoon and Saturday Greek schools of the Archdiocese will march from the War Memorial to Torrens Parade Ground.
Celebrations will culminate at the parade ground with festive fare, songs and poems as well as traditional dance performances.
In the ACT on Sunday March 26, the Greek Community of Canberra will hold a church service at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church presided led by Bishop Bartholomew of Charioupolis and Fr Petros.
Following the service, a wreath laying ceremony will be held at the Hellenic War Memorial.
And from 12.45pm a Greek National Day Luncheon will be held at the Hellenic Club of Canberra, with live entertainment for the enjoyment of attendees.
In Queensland the Greek Orthodox Church of St George in South Brisbane will observe the Divine Liturgy and Doxology from 9am on Sunday 26 March.
Church services will be accompanied by a memorial service and wreath laying ceremony, while celebrations will continue at the Greek Club till 2pm.
And finally, in Western Australia on Sunday 26 March at 12pm a wreath laying ceremony will be held at the State War Memorial in Kings Park.