The beginning of spring, warmer days and the promise of summer coming closer. March has always been a particularly pleasant month to look forward to. The first day of March is well anticipated and there is even a Greek tradition that goes with it. Οn the last day of February, mothers weave red and white bracelets to place on the wrist of their children. Some claims have this tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, when, during the Eleusinian Mysteries, people tied strings around their wrists and feet. Nowadays, the red and white string is said to protect the people who wear it from the harsh sun rays that are getting stronger.
The bracelets are worn from the 1st till the 31st and can be taken off to be placed at a tree branch or bush for birds to pick up and built their nest with.
March Travel Greece – Destination Galaxidi
The town of Galaxidi is a suitable place to spend the month of March for many reasons. Mild weather, a charming port, quiet relaxation with few tourists and a rich historical background.
The 25th of March is celebrated for two reasons in Greece, a religious and a historical.
The religious holiday on the 25th of March marks 9 months before Christmas, and the Orthodox church celebrates this day as the Annunciation of Our Lady, the announcement of Archangel Gabriel to Mary that she will conceive a blessed child.
Church bells ring and hymns are sung, and whether you follow the Christian faith or not, visiting a church to partake in the festivities on the 25th of March is not a bad idea.
There is a secondary celebration during this day as well, however, and one that might not be so easy to miss. The 25th of March marks the beginning of the war on Independence after 400 years under the Ottoman empire.
Galaxidi was the first city in Central Greece to raise the flag of Independence and due to its historical importance as a ship-building town, with hard-working, reliable and capable ship captains, their fleet of vessels was at once sent to fight and defend.
Unfortunately, the town of Galaxidi was viciously attacked during the beginning of the Independence War and while it was defended heroically, it was destroyed twice and abandoned until 1829, the end of the war, when people were able to return and start rebuilding their houses.
All the cities and towns around Greece, mark this double celebration as a public holiday and march in the streets in military and civilian parades. Head to any city centre or square to experience the joy of this public holiday.
Depending on when Easter falls, either the whole month of March or parts of it fall within the lent period of the Orthodox Church, a time when no meat or dairy products are allowed to be consumed. (see February Easter and Orthodox celebrations here)
As an exception for this holiday, the church permits a certain celebratory meal – salty fried codfish traditionally accompanied by “skordalia” or garlic sauce. Head to any restaurant or tavern to partake in this Greek tradition.
Weather in March in Greece
For travel to Greece in March, the weather could end up being exceptionally lovely. There is only an average of 8 rainy days during the month and a full 6 hours of sunlight every day. In the south, temperatures could hover around 17 C and in the north 13 C. If you are visiting the mountains make sure that you are well prepared in terms of equipment. Snow may still be present.