The entire world will turn Greek to mark Greece’s bicentennial, celebrated on March 25, 2021, commemorating 200 years since the declaration of its War of Independence.
In every corner of the globe where members of the Greek Diaspora are present, the anniversary will be marked. Iconic landmarks in all of those countries will be illuminated in blue and white in honor of the Greek people and their struggle for freedom 200 years ago.
Greece Bicentennial in the United States
Lighting up their most iconic landmark buildings and bridges in the blue of the Greek flag for one night, American cities from East to West will honor the nation of Greece as well as the many millions of Greek-Americans who are part of the fabric of the country.
Here is a list of the American cities which will mark the Greek bicentennial with illuminations of their iconic landmarks this year.
San Francisco City Hall will be illuminated with the colors of the Greek flag on March 25.
The initiative belongs to the United Hellenic American Societies (UHAS) representing Greek Americans in California and the efforts of Taso Zografos, President of the United Hellenic American Societies of Northern California (UHAS).
“Our Greek community in California is working together in unison to pay tribute to those who stood up to tyranny, sacrificed their lives in the fight against oppression, and bravely liberated Greece from occupation,” says UHAS President Taso Zografos.
“Hellenes and Philhellenes around the world continue to stand united in defense of freedom and liberty for all.”
The City of Los Angeles will mark the celebration of the Greek bicentennial of its War of Independence on March 25 by illuminating the iconic pylons outside its international airport, LAX.
Other buildings and areas which will also be illuminated to show respect for the Greek Bicentennial are the Richards/I-5 underpass, the Capitol Mall, the K street Tunnel, City College Pedestrian Bridge, Memorial Auditorium and the McKinley Underpass.
The Santa Monica Pier’s “Pacific Wheel” will also have a special, evening-long Light Show for Greek Independence Day on the 25th.
Boston to be in blue and white for Greece Bicentennial
Stratos Efthymiou, the Consul General of Greece in Boston, spearheaded efforts for the commemoration in Massachusetts and elsewhere in New England.
He told Greek Reporter that the illuminations will occur in states all over the country, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and Rhode Island — all places where many Greeks flocked in past centuries and decades in their search for a better life.
The cities of Boston, Lowell, and Fall River in Massachusetts, as well as Providence, Rhode Island and Manchester, New Hampshire, will light up their iconic bridges and city halls in blue for the celebration of 200 years of Greek independence.
The iconic Piscataqua River Bridge, a span linking the states of New Hampshire and Maine, will also be lit up in the blue and white in commemoration of the Greek War of Independence.
Some of them will keep the lights lit for an entire week.
Efthymiou states “We are grateful to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to illuminate some of their most iconic bridges for one week.” The Consul-General added that other consulates all over the country are planning on asking heir communities to do the same thing in honoring Greece during the bicentennial of its War of Independence.
The venerable Boston Museum of Fine Arts will be bedecked in the blue and white of the Greek flag to mark Greek Independence Day tonight, Wednesday, and Thursday, March 25.
To celebrate the 200 years of freedom after the Greek Revolution, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, one of the world’s top museums, featuring the exceptional George D. and Margo Behrakis Wing for Art of the Ancient World, will join in the effort to light buildings and bridges around the world in blue.
On the nights of the 24th and the 25th, the Museum will light its grand Huntington Entrance blue and install two Greek flags at the Entrance as well.
The venerable New England city of Lowell, Massachusetts, once home to so many Greek immigrants that it was dubbed “America’s Acropolis,” will be the first US city to honor Greece on its bicentennial of the War of Independence on March 25.
Celebrating the Feast of the Annunciation at 7:30 AM, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church will commemorate the seminal day in the life of Modern Greece on the day of the Bicentennial.
Raising the Greek flag in the early morning all around town, the Greek Bicentennial will continue to be commemorated all day long, with a procession after the early morning Liturgy and a ceremony held at 12 noon at Lowell City Hall.
An extensive lighting program has also been designed for City Hall and the city’s iconic bridges, with all the landmarks glowing in the white and blue on Thursday night.
Greektown Chicago is hosting a free virtual celebration of the 200th anniversary of Greek Independence Day on Thursday, March 25 at 7 pm CST (8 pm Eastern Time).
The festivities will include a special performance from popular Greek singer Glykeria of the song “Να ‘τανε το ’21” (“Let it be ‘21”), which commemorates the beginning of the Greeks’ fight for independence in March 1821.
The event will be streamed on the Greektown Chicago Facebook page.
Greektown’s virtual celebration includes a dynamic history of Chicago’s vibrant Greek-American community with stories from prominent Chicagoans and archival photos highlighting the city’s Greek Independence Day celebrations and parades over the past 126 years.
Additionally, families from across Chicagoland are encouraged to join the virtual celebration by submitting photos and videos of their Greek Independence Day memories, which may be used in a montage during the virtual event.
Greece Bicentennial in Canada
CN Tower in Toronto
A series of important landmarks in Ontario, Canada, will glow in the blue and white on March 24 and 25 as well.
The mayor of Toronto, John Troy, Councillor Nick Mantas and Consul General of Greece in Toronto Victor Maligoudis will oversee the illumination of the iconic CN Tower in Toronto on Wednesday, March 24, at 8 pm EST.
The illumination of this monument will take place on Thursday, March 25, following the sunset, at approximately 7:36 pm. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the official CN Tower website (no password required).
The illumination of this wonder of nature, shared between the US and Canada, will take place on Thursday, March 25, from 9:45-10:00 pm EST. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the official Niagara Falls website (no password required).
The City of Vancouver, British Columbia, will honor Greek Independence Day by raising Greek flags in varied municipalities; most notably the raising of a total of 56 Greek flags on city property.
The collective Greek Community of the Greater Vancouver area, comprised of AHEPA, The Hellenic Canadian Congress, The Greek Community of East Vancouver, The Hellenic Community of Vancouver, and the Greek Community of Surrey have arranged a “Drive-by” salute/parelassi to all five Greek flag stations.
They have reached out to the Panhellenic Motorcycle Association’s BC Chapter to escort the drive by event on March 25th as well.
The plan is to start the Parade — with everyone in their cars — by meeting at Sts. Nicholas & Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church at 11 am on Thursday, March 25th.
From there, the vehicles will drive in formation to all the flag stations and then complete the parade at St. George’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral for a wreath-laying ceremony.
Bangor, Maine, a New England city that attracted many Greek immigrants in the early 1900s, will honor them and the Greek bicentennial this week, as its pedestrian walkway linking three streets will be lit in the colors of the Greek flag.
The Greeks who came to Bangor, once the largest lumber capital of the world, where timber was shipped to ports all over the globe, were drawn there by the many jobs that the city had to offer.
And, amazingly, almost all of them came from just one area, Vamvakou, on the Peloponnesian peninsula. During the week leading up to the Greek bicentennial, these brave people who had left everything they had known and worked so very hard to forge a new life in the United States, will be commemorated in the city that they made their new home.
Greece Bicentennial in Australia
The New South Wales government agreed that the iconic Sydney Opera House will be bedecked in the Greek flag for March 25, the Bicentennial of the War of Independence.
NSW Premier Gladys Berjiklian announced that the Sydney Opera House will be lit up in blue and white on 25 March to commemorate 200 years of Greek independence.
“Proud to share this moment of history”
In a statement released late on Thursday evening, Berejiklian said, “I am delighted to confirm that the Sydney Opera House will be lit on 25 March to commemorate 200 years of Greek Independence.
“We are proud to share this moment of history with our Greek community in NSW.”
Bill Papastergiadis, President of the Greek Community of Melbourne, told Neos Kosmos that the Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street will be lit up all this week from tonight until Friday.
“I think symbolism is an important part of our lives and we spend a lot of time reflecting on matters,” Papastergiadis said. “This will enable all of us to reflect on the symbolism of what transpired then and its meaning for us today.”
“Anything that slows us down and causes us to observe and reflect is a good thing.”
As with other years, the Hellenic RSL will hold a special Commemoration on Thursday the 25th, beginning at Agios Eustathios at 9:30 am, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the Australian Hellenic Memorial at 12:00 pm and wreath-laying at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance at 1:00pm.
Canberra to fly the Greek flag
The blue and white will also fly proudly in various locations across Canberra, including:
Allara Street (across the footbridge)
Gold Creek Village
Canberra Shopping Centre
A number of buildings will also be illuminated in blue and white on the night of March 25, as well, including:
The National Carillon Bell Tower
Black Mountain (Telstra Tower)
Ian Potter House
The National Museum of Australia
The Hellenic Club of Canberra
The Greek Embassy in Australia
Greece Bicentennial in South Africa
The Hellenic Federation of South Africa (HFSA) will also celebrate several commemorative events in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 25.
The largest (1,500 square meter/16,146 square feet) thread-sewn Greek flag ever produced will be flown as part of the celebrations. A large-scale “Greek Freedom Dance” was choreographed to an original composition produced by one of the Greek South African community’s Greek scholars as well.