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celebrations in vathy ithaki - may 21st 2007
People began to gather around the Vathy Square quite early while they waited for the band to play and the Parade to begin.







It looked like it would rain on this May 21 Parade, but the black clouds that rumbled overhead puffed out no rain to spoil the occasion that commemorates this day of the Ionian Independence of 1864. It's a day of great pride and reflection on Ithaca. It's a day when the army officers adorn their uniforms and stand proudly over the community to which they belong. This annual celebration begins with the marching band parading down the main street of Vathy with the children from the Ithaki schools dressed in their while and black, marching behind.
Local government heads and army officers, closely followed by the Greek Orthodox clergy, take to the stage set up along the bay road. Greeces' white and blue flags, strung from one end of the town to the other, wave patriatism across, not only this village, but all the villages around Ithaki. The community line the bay road on each side, applauding the parade and taking to heart, the solomn speeches of the Ithaki officials, as they are reminded of the significance of this Unification day, when the Ionian islands officially joined Greece, in their present lives.

may 21




Stavros in the north of the island has its own parade for this occasion, but the Vathy Parade is the healiner for this day with colour and pomp no matter where you look.










it's a proud time for the children taking part in the Parade
Over the past couple of years, this Parade has had a little trouble inducing excitement in the community, but this year there was a real buzz among the crowd in the streets and the officials on the stage, everyone exuded a great amount of enthusiasm to make this Parade an enjoyable event on ithaki.
unification celebration on ithaca
For the visitors, accidental or intentional, today was a great insight into the pomp of Ionian tradition, a great opportunity to be included in the Ithaki community, and well worth clicking the megapixels into oblivion.
The clouds were heavy and black, but the sea was calm and the rain held off until the afternoon, long after the parade had finished.
Pride & tradition On ithaca
After the parade, as is usual, the community gathered around the Village Square Cafes to catch up and socialize with eachother. Coffee was brewing, sandwiches were toasting and an Ouzo here and there sounded the after midday happy hour with glasses clinking as the community toasted its Unification with mainland Greece, once again.

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