Ochi means Ochi

Well Friday’s here and finally a day with some true festivities! It’s Ochi day in Greece.

On this day in 1940 Italy (along with Hitler) had essentially asked Greece “Do you mind if we occupy you? It’ll go much easier if you don’t fight.” (obviously I’m paraphrasing here) to which General Ioannis Metaxas responded “Ochi!”. Which after flipping through their Greek to Italian dictionary the Italians learned was a quite emphatic “No!”.

This of course put Greece on the Allied side of the fight and by many accounts had a major effect on the outcome of the war.

…expect to encounter parades and other celebrations commemorating Ochi Day, the anniversary of General Ioannis Metaxas’ flat denial to the Italians’ request for free passage to invade Greece.

On Ochi Day, all major cities will offer a military parade, and many Greek Orthodox churches will be holding special services. Coastal towns may have naval parades or other celebrations on the waterfront.

Source: About.com

Also today:

  • Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution in Hungary
  • Independence Day in Czechoslovakia