Holiday: October 28
Όχι (Oxi) Day is a national holiday in Greece and Cyprus. It commemorates the day of October 28, 1940 when Prime Minister and General Ioannis Metaxas replied "Όχι" (no) to Italian dictator Benito Mousolini's demand to allow Italian troops into Greece during World War II or face war with Italy. The Italian ambassador arrived at 3:00 a.m. demanding Greece give them free passage. Some say Metaxas' actual reply was "Alors, c'est la guerre" meaning "Then it is war," but Όχι! became the battle cry heard round the world for 80+ years!
Italian troops attacked Greece at the Albania border. The Greeks were outnumbered by the Italians in troops and weapons, but their courage and tenacity drove the Italians back deep into Albania.
In Greece, Όχι Day is celebrated with parades and a show of the Greek armed forces. Parades, celebrations, and the waving of the Greek flag can be found worldwide wherever Greeks live.
Image: The image depicts soldiers in World War II laying on snow, ready to shoot their rifles.
Video: Watch the video below for the story of Oxi Day and the fight that ensued with Italy and the Axis forces.