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Oxi Day, Greece

The Oxi Day in Greece
Oxi Day (sometimes spelt Ohi or Ochi) is a national public holiday and commemorated on the 28th October every year in Greece, Cyprus and by Greeks around the world.

It was Monday, 28th of October 1940, when the Prime Minister of Greece, Ioannis Metaxas, denied Benito Mussolini’s request to allow Italian troops to cross the border into Greece. He responded to the Italian ultimatum in French, the diplomatic language at the time, “Alors, c’est la gueree!” or “Then it is War!”.

In the days following, the word of Metaxas’ denial had spread around the capital and the Greek population took to the streets shouting “Oxi!”. His decision, made on 28th October 1940, is commemorated each year as a day that represents bravery, solidarity and heroism for millions of Greeks all around the world.

Although Greece had tried to remain neutral in the early days of WWII, it was at this time it became allied with Great Britain. The Greek Army turned out to be a formidable force, holding back the Axis forces from entering Greece for almost six months. Winston Churchill commented at the time of the Greco-Italian war and famously said,

“Hence we will not say that Greeks fight like heroes, but that heroes fight like Greeks.”

Watch the video (with english subtitles)