Greek celebrations for March 25th, salty fish, and a plethora of free books!

Hi All! Today, it is March 25th, a day of great celebration in Greece! Scroll down for my latest newsletter that’s loaded with FREE books!

In case you’re wondering about the picture, this is salt-cured cod – the traditional food for the 25th of March in Greece, and the one thing I could never serve on my table, even if Greek custom dictates it! Growing up, March 25th has always been a bit of a drag around lunchtime. My mother would be busy battering and frying salt-cured cod (we call it ‘bakaliaros’), and I’d be just as busy behind her back fake-gagging and pulling faces, since even the smell attacked my senses. I was not looking forward at all to the time I’d be asked to eat the fried fillet pieces on my plate.

And because I’d refuse to eat them, I’d wind up having only half a meal – the weeds (dandelions or beetroots with their greens) and, of course, garlic dip (skordalia) with fresh bread to dunk in.

Since I loooove greens and skordalia I wasn’t too put out, I guess!

Nothing’s changed since then, as far as my tastes go. Like every other year, I’m having unsalted cod today with my skordalia, thank you very much 🙂

March 25th is a unique Greek holiday – being both a religious one and a national one! So it’s a two-in-one kind of affair that is celebrated in every home with a patriotic spirit… and salted-cod, of course.

On this day, the Greeks commemorate the War of Independence from Ottoman rule after no less than 400 years of slavery. I guess this explains why the Greeks are so resilient, huh!

Athens celebrates with a huge military parade which I’ve had the pleasure to attend a few times over the years. Always a thrill, especially when the Tsoliades (the Presidential Guard) pass by in their traditional uniforms, striking one foot down so forcefully it feels like the earth is shaking. The result creates rippling vibes of patriotic pride to rise into the air. The memory brings a lump to my throat just thinking about it!

HERE’S AN OLD POST ON MY BLOG ABOUT THE GREEK WAR OF INDEPENDENCE WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AND ONE VIDEO FROM THE PARADE.

Since it’s an old post and not in the awful days of covid, you’ll get to see crowds – the way it’s supposed to be. Enjoy the vibe of humanity coming together in large numbers 🙂

Image copyright: makisgonimo.blogspot.com

As I stated earlier, March 25th is also a religious holiday. It is the feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, when Archangel Gabriel announced to Her She will give birth to Jesus.

The day calls for a lunch of cod with boiled greens or beetroots and garlic dip (skordalia).

The latter is made with crushed garlic cloves, potato, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I can vouch for the fact that it’s utterly delicious. Mind you, it’ll give you hot dragon breath for the rest of the day, but boy, is it worth it!

As I mentioned earlier, the fish used for this day traditionally is salt-cured cod. Housewives leave it in water overnight to remove the super-salty flavor.

Using salt-cured fish, in case you’re wondering, is a custom that began out of sheer necessity. When the Greeks started to commemorate the Annunciation of Virgin Mary by eating fish back in the 15th century, people had no fridges in their homes, plus, it was imperative for merchants to be able to distribute fish everywhere around Greece, even in areas far away from the sea, in the depths of the mainland, without the fish spoiling. That is what led them to sell this kind of fish instead, which is cheap and can be stored for long periods, too.

So… years, decades, and centuries later, the Greeks continue their tradition of going for salt-cured cod, even though they now have access to superstores, large fish markets, and freezers in their homes. Crazy, huh? But that’s the power of tradition, I guess!

CHECK OUT TODAY’S NEWSLETTER FOR A LOAD OF FREE BOOKS!

Escape to Greece today with these heart-warming books… FREE with your signup to my bimonthly newsletter. Fun news from my life in Greece and a load of FREE kindle books in every issue! http://bit.ly/2yA74No

NEW BOOK! Clean romance novella.  Spyri never forgot that old summer in Corfu when she met Markos. Visit Amazon: https://bit.ly/3pAP3rf

Check out my previous post: A vegetarian version of pastichio that is just as yummy and creamy as the real thing: https://effrosinimoss.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/vegetarian-pastichio/

4 responses to “Greek celebrations for March 25th, salty fish, and a plethora of free books!

  1. This year, I had the joy to go to Drăgășani with the Greek Community leadership, at the monument of the Greek young heroes in Filiki Etairia fallen in the battle against the Turks. I wrote a short story last year about the battle, but I had never before the opportunity to visit Drăgășani.

    Liked by 1 person

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