October 28: Oxi Day

Once again, sorry for the lateness! Time just got away from me the last few days.

Greek flagOxi!

Language lesson: Oxi means no. (Yes, this holiday is “No! Day.” Isn’t that perfect?) It’s pronounced with an awesome gutteral sound in the back of the throat, and is often spelled “Ohi” or “Ochi.”

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece

               Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,              Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece

Why celebrate no? Well, on October 28, 1940, during World War II, the Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas refused Italy’s ultimatum. Benito Mussolini had told Greece to allow Italian soldiers to occupy certain “strategic locations” or Italy would attack Greece itself.

Greek flags at Santorini, image credit Domenico SalvagninIn response, the people of Greece took to the streets changing “Oxi!” and Metaxas succinctly replied, “Then it is war.”

Within two years, October 28 had become known as Oxi Day, and widely celebrated throughout Greece and Cyprus with flags hung everywhere.

“Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
you shield my head in the day of battle.”

Psalm 140:7


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