Public holidays in Greece

According to Greek Law every Sunday of the year is a public holiday. In addition, there are four obligatory, official public holidays: March 25, Easter Monday, August 15 and December 25. Two more days, May 1 and October 28, are regulated by law as optional but it is customary for employees to be given the day off. There are, however, more public holidays celebrated in Greece than are announced by the Ministry of Labour each year as either of bligatory or optional. The list of these non-fixed National Holidays rarely changes and has not changed in recent decades, giving a total of twelve National Holidays each year.

A public holiday that occurs on a Sunday is not transferred to another date, with the exception of May 1, which is regarded by the locals more as a General strike than a Public Holiday.

In addition to the National Holidays, there are Public Holidays that are not celebrated nationwide, but only by a specific professional group or a local community. For example, many municipalities have a patron Saint also called 'Name Day' or a Liberation Day, and at this day is customary for schools to have a day off.

National holidays

National Holidays
Date English Name Greek Name (transliterated/transcribed) Greek Name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day Protochroniá Πρωτοχρονιά Also celebrated ecclesiastically as the feast of St. Basil the Great and of the Circumcision of Christ. [1]
6 January Epiphany or Theophany Theophánia Θεοφάνεια [1]
Easter – 48 days
Next: 14 March 2016
Clean Monday or Shrove Monday Kathará Deftéra Καθαρά Δευτέρα The first day of Lent. [1]
25 March Annunciation Evangelismós tis Theotókou Ευαγγελισμός της Θεοτόκου Celebration of the Annunciation – when the Incarnation of Logos was announced to the Virgin Mary. [2]
Independence Day Ikostí-pémpti Martíou
(lit. 25 March)
Εικοστή Πέμπτη Μαρτίου Anniversary of the declaration of the start of Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire, in 1821.
Easter – 2 days
Next: 29 April 2016
Good Friday Megáli Paraskeví Μεγάλη Παρασκευή [1]
moveable Easter Kiriakí tou Páscha Κυριακή του Πάσχα Next: 1 May 2016 [3]
Easter + 1 day
Next: 2 May 2016
Easter Monday Deftéra tou Páscha Δευτέρα του Πάσχα [2]
1 May Labour Day Ergatikí Protomagiá
(lit. 1 May of the Workers)
Εργατική Πρωτομαγιά [4][5]
Easter + 49 days
Pentecost or Whit Sunday Pentikostí
(lit. 50th day)
Πεντηκοστή' Next: 19 June 2016 [3]
Easter + 50 days
Next: 20 June 2016
Pentecost Monday or Whit Monday Deftéra Pentikostís
(lit. Pentecost Monday) or Agíou Pnévmatos
(lit. Of the Holy Spirit)
Δευτέρα Πεντηκοστής or Αγίου Πνεύματος Monday of the Holy Spirit or Pentecost Monday. [1]
15 August Assumption or Dormition of the Holy Virgin Kímisi tis Theotókou Κοίμηση της Θεοτόκου The most important celebration of the Virgin Mary. [2]
28 October Ochi Day 'To Ochi' or 'Imera tou Ochi'
(lit. Day of the "No")
Το Όχι or Ημέρα του Όχι Celebration of the Greek refusal to the Italian ultimatum of 1940. [4]
25 December Christmas Christoúyenna Χριστούγεννα [2]
26 December Glorifying Mother of God Sínaxis Yperagías Theotókou Marías Σύναξις Υπεραγίας Θεοτόκου Μαρίας The religious meaning of the holiday is a coming together to glorify the Theotokos, but in general and in effect the day is considered a holiday because it's the day after Christmas just like Boxing Day in some Commonwealth countries. [1]
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Customary, regulated by the Ministry
  2. 1 2 3 4 Obligatory, fixed by law
  3. 1 2 Note that Easter Sunday and Pentecost, are not official holidays as they always occur on a Sunday
  4. 1 2 Optional, regulated by law
  5. Regarded as a General Strike, can be transferred to another date.

Profession-specific holidays

Profession-specific Holidays
Date English Name Greek Name (transliterated) Greek Name Applies to Remarks
January 30 The Three Holy Hierarchs Trion Ierarchon Τριών Ιεραρχών Education Commemoration of the patron saints of education (St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, St. John Chrysostom)
November 17 Polytechnio Polytechnio Πολυτεχνείο Education Anniversary of the 1973 students protests against the junta of the colonels (1967–1974).


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