An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Friday, October 27, 2006


October 28th is a holiday in Crete. It is a holiday throughout Greece. It is a day that celebrates, unlike so many holidays in Greece, not a religious feast day but an event that changed Greek history and possibly European history. An event that reflects a massive national pride.

October 28th is OXI day: the day the Greeks as a man said "no!".

On October 28th 1940, at dawn, the Greek government (a dictatorship led by Ioannis Metaxas) was presented with an ultimatum made be Benito Mussolini and delivered by his ambassador to Greece.

Mussolini demanded that the Axis powers be allowed to enter Greece and to occupy "strategic locations". The particular locations were unspecified. The response came as a single word - OXI (No).

By morning the populace had taken to the streets shouting OXI and cementing among themselves a solidarity and spirit of resistance that would cost the Axis powers dearly. It would cost the Greek people themselves more dearly still.

As is the case with Russia the contribution that Greek resistance made to Allied victory in World War 2 is often glossed over or underestimated (certainly by comparison to the perceived value of the contribution of the USA).

The Greeks said NO and they are proud of it. They celebrate their national identity and character through OXI day in a way that they do not in their religious festivals and holidays.


  1. If only Tony Blair had said 'NO' to George W Bush, then we too might have had something to celebrate instead of witnessing this awful debacle that their joint megalomania has presented us with.

  2. "The response came as a single word - OXI (No)."


    "Most scholars dismiss the political side of 'Okhi' as an urban legend,pointing out that the actual reply was the French phrase "Alors, c'est la guerre" ("Then it is war") in response to Metaxas's refusal" - Wikipedia.

  3. We are talking about Greece here - the home of mythology. Whether Metaxas actually said Oxi or something longer is frankly irrelevant. The myth is more powerful than any subjective (and even Wikipedia's scholars are offering only subjective judgements) reality.