The 25th of March is a dual holiday in Greece, both national and religious. We celebrate the anniversary of the declaration of the start of Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, in 1821 and the annunciation - when the birth of Christ was announced to the Virgin Mary.
There is a school flag parade in every town and village and a big armed forces parade in Athens , the capital of Greece .
The Byzantine Empire fell to the Turks in 1453 and the Greeks remained under the Ottoman rule for nearly 400 years. During this time their language, their religion and their sense of identity remained strong.
On March 25, 1821 the bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese and one more revolution started against the Turks. The people of Greece shouted "Freedom or Death" and they fought the War of Independence for 9 years (1821-1829) until a small part of modern Greece was finally liberated and it was declared an independent nation.
The struggle for the liberation of all the lands inhabited by Greeks continued. In 1864, the Ionian Islands were added to Greece; in 1881 parts of Epirus and Thessaly. Crete, the islands of the Eastern Aegean and Macedonia were added in 1913 and Western Thrace in 1919. After World War II the Dodecanese islands were also returned to Greece.
The traditional dish that is served this holiday is fried salted cod with skordalia. (Skordalia or Aliada is a thick sauce/dip/spread in Greek cuisine).
1 pound dried salted cod
Oil for frying
3-4 tbs water
Salt and pepper
Remove the skin and cut the fish into pieces. Soak in cold water in the refrigerator, for 18-20 hours, changing the water several times, until the fish is lightly salted. Remove the bones and drain the fish well. In a bowl lightly beat the eggs with the water until fluffy. Add enough flour and mix to make a medium thick batter. Adjust the seasoning and set aside. In a large frying pan, pour enough oil to cover the bottom up to ½ inch. Heat over high heat until it reaches the smoking point. Dip the cod pieces one by one into the batter and drop into the hot oil. Fry, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper toweling. Serve the dish hot with skordalia and vegetable salad.
For the sauce you will need:
4 garlic cloves
½ ts salt
2 cups finely ground walnuts
4 bread slices (crusts removed)
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup vinegar
Add nuts and garlic to the blender and blend well. Soak the bread in water and squeeze out the excess water. Add bread to the mixture and blend well. Slowly add the oil and the vinegar, alternately, beating well after each addition, until it becomes a smooth paste. If the mixture looks curdled, blend it slowly adding a little warm water. Cover and chill.
Tip: In the islands the sauce is called aliada and is made with potatoes instead of walnuts and bread. In this case replace the walnuts and bread with two large boiled potatoes and add ¼ cup water.You can use frozen or fresh cod instead of salted (as shown in the picture). In this case you juct cut the fish in small pieces and dip it into the batter.
Here are some more beautiful handmade creations from our crafty members to get you inspired:
A gorgeous stretchy dress by 2Alpha
Zaneta, a beautiful art-doll by Anastasiasdolls
Sea Dreams Necklace by Antigoni
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Greek Art print by Artbygeorgia
Summer blue leather flip flops by Florentines
Beautiful set of three drinking glasses by glasslight1gr
Cell phone-iphone cozy by silverliningknits
beautiful sterling silver octapus ring by vantidesigns