Greek holidays are extremely important for the Greeks. Where we in the Netherlands put less and less value on certain holidays, the holidays are still very important for the Greeks. Below is a list of the official Greek holidays. Please note that public institutions and (most) supermarkets are closed on these public holidays.
Greek holidays 2019
1 January – New Year
6 January – Drie Koningen
11 March – Clean Monday
25 March – Independence Day
18 April – Big Friday (Good Friday)
28 April- Greek Orthodox Easter
29 April- Greek Orthodox Easter
1 May – Labor Day
16 June – Whit Sunday
17 June – Whit Sunday
15 August – Maria Hemelvaart
8 September – Day of the holy mother
28 October – Ochi day
25 December – Christmas
26 December – Christmas
Greek Name days
In addition to Greek holidays, the Greeks also celebrate name days. In Greece, they celebrate – in contrast to the Netherlands – not your birthday but your name day. Most Greeks have received a Greek Orthodox name. This name comes from a saint and every name of a saint is worshipped on a certain day. So for example, I (Athina) also have a Greek Orthodox name. The name Athina is celebrated on September 1 together with the holy names Charilika, Meletios, Marianthi, Pinelopi and Simeon. So in Greece, you celebrate your name day with all the other people who have the same name as you and congratulates each other. These name days are often celebrated in the church or the village where the name of this saint is linked to and is often accompanied by a lot of food and drink.
Greeks also celebrate the 1st day of each month. They wish you a good month and say “Kalo Mina”.