Ermionida Holiday Weekend

Over the weekend of 9th & 10th March 2024, Ermioni celebrated the third anniversary of a new annual 'public holiday of local importance'.  This event commemorates the Hellenic Third National Assembly, that was held in Ermioni (then called Kastri) between January and March 1827, during the Greek War of Independence.  The National Assembly was held on the upper floor of the Economou House, which today is the Ermioni Museum of History and Folklore, in the Old Village.  The annual local holiday was established by Presidential Decree No.20 (Government Gazette 54/A on 14th March 2022) as a public holiday of local importance, selected to be the second Sunday of March.  The Third National Assembley was attended by the Greek General of all Peloponnesian forces, Theodoros Kolokotronis.

The anniversary event started on Saturday evening at the Ermioni Sygrou Centre with a tribute to military general and politician Yiannis Makrygiannis.  First, by the President of the Historical & Folklore Museum of Ermioni (ILME) and then a speech by the Professor of Modern Greek Philology, from the Department of Philology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, referrering to the numerous poems written about Makrygiannis over the course of 200 years.  Following this was a short amateur theatrical performance from the 'Memoirs' of Makrygiannis, concluded by a musical tribute by the Ermionis Music Association. 

The anniversary events concluded on Sunday 10th March, when the Greek flag was raised at the War Memorial, with a delegation and the Ermionida Municipality Philharmonic.  This was followed by the official eulogy at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Taxiarches in the Old Village.  The eulogy service was carried out by Papa Yiannis, in the presence of The Mayor of Ermionida, Government M.P.s of Argolida, President of the Municipality of Ermioni, representatives of Local Government, Regional Unity of Argolida and Security Forces.  For the first time, representatives of the Municipality of Hydra and Spetses attended, with their traditional period costumes and battle-flags of their heroic islands.  Ermioni students and schoolchildren were present, some in traditional costumes.

The church eulogy service was followed by a Memorial Mass at the Ermioni 'Perivolaki' garden of the Mitsas revolutionary freedom fighters, in front of the Ermioni Museum of History and Folklore, and the laying of wreaths.  Afterwards, poems were recited by the students of the 2nd Ermionis Kindergarten, followed by the National Anthem, played by the Ermionida Municipality Philharmonic.

Ermioni's anniversary events were completed at the Economou House, with a guided tour by the Presedent of the ILME museum.

Later, on the same day, the first revived festival of a traditional carnival custom called 'Lyriza' was celebrated in Kranidi. The Kranidi Lyriza started as an improvised Halloween style carnival many years ago, celebrated in the neighbourhood streets of Kranidi, with traditional foods, singing, dancing and masquerades.  The Lyriza celebrations culminated around noon in the large courtyard of the central primary school of Kranidi, with live music, and dancing by the large crowd that had gathered, which continued all afternoon.

Local Carnival celebrations will continue throughout the week in Ermionida.  The area's highlight of 'Carnival 2024' will be held next Sunday 17th March, when the colourful annual 'Regional Carnival Parade' will be held in Porto Heli, starting around 1:00pm.  The largest Carnival parade in Greece will be held in Patras.  The Greek Orthodox pre-Easter Lent will start on 'Clean Monday' 18th March, with kite flying on Pronos Hill in Ermioni, an annual event usually accompanied with music, folk dancing and refreshments. 

The Regional Carnival in Porto Heli on Sunday 17th March was delayed due to a torential thunderstorm in the early afternoon.  The Carnival festivities continued in the early evening when the rain had stopped, the parade was then followed by a street party disco.