From antiquity to today, Greece has lived through major historical events. The country was involved in many wars: Persian wars, the wars of Alexander the Great, etc. In modern Greek history, from 1821 till of today, two major wars Greece was involved in, were the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire and the 2nd World War. Every year, Greeks remember these historical events with the celebration of two national anniversaries on October 28th and March 25th. 

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Athens combines elements from classical antiquity, the Ottoman past and a modern city. Since it was under Ottoman occupation between 1458 and 1833, it also had public baths called hammams. When you come to Athens today, you can visit the Bath of the Winds or experience spa services at one of the modern hammams of the city.

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Looking forward to the Christmas Period? Here below you will find information about some Christmas traditions in Greece.
In the meantime, in order to improve your listening skills,  you can click on the button above, where you will find the text in Greek as well as the Audio
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In every country some days of the year are considered as “national anniversaries” because they remind everybody of important historical events. For most of the people, as well as for public services, these days are also “public holidays”.
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Saffron, a delicious spice coming from the Krokos (crocus) flower, is growing in Greece and known since ancient times! Saffron is being used in many different ways: for its flavor in the kitchen, for its color in cosmetics and paint, for its healing properties in the pharmaceutical sector. Cleopatra saw the value of using saffron in cosmetics, in the Old Testament, it was mentioned because of its essence and Aeschylus described it as a way to dye fabric.
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In the following video you will see teacher Konstantinos and three other Omilo members picnicking in the background. This video is taken in the Singrou Park of Maroussi (Nord Athens), at 600 meters from the Omilo school and was made for the Omilo Quiz about Greece. Konstantinos asks two questions. He also explains more about the “sarrakosti” traditions.
Listen to the video to practice your Greek listening skills. You can read the Greek text also below the video, as well as the English translation.
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The aim of Carnival is to encourage all citizens, and visitors, to be a part of a lively, fun-filled celebration, which takes place in many venues, squares, streets and schools of villages, towns or city neighborhoods. In Greece, Carnival is a big winter celebration, during which Greeks really enjoy themselves, organize many parties and eat a lot of meat!

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As in every country and season, there are natural phenomena. A Greek winter can be cold and in the mountainous areas, it always snows. However, every year there are also some very warm days with a lot of sunshine. They are called the “Halcyon days” or “Alkionides Meres”. Unfortunately, we never know on which days exactly those calm bright days will come. Usually, it is the period after Christmas until the end of January when there is a non-interrupted period of days with clear blue skies and warm temperatures, which at least in the Athens region can reach more than 20°C during day-time. Lees meer

In Greece, there is a nice tradition of baking the “vasilopita”, a special cake for the New Year, to start things off right! When cutting the cake into slices on New Year’s Day, Greeks will name each slice as they cut it, after everyone in the family and friends. Usually, also a coin is hidden in the bottom of the cake. Whoever is lucky enough to get the coin in their slice is considered especially blessed in the coming year! So maybe a nice Greek tradition to also try it with your family and friends back home?

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The name Onassis is a synonym of Croesus, of a very wealthy man. Aristotle Onassis, the so-called “Golden Greek”, became worldwide known for oil tankers and Olympic Airways. However, he did much more than that. Let’s get to know him and have a closer look at the Onassis Cultural Center in Athens as well as the Onassis Foundation’s activities. Lees meer