Hydra hosts two annual three-day regattas that mark the beginning and end of the racing season. The first, held on the weekend before Independence Day, or March 25, is organized by the Hellenic Offshore Racing Club and heralds the beginning of the summer. The second, held on the weekend before Oxi Day, or October 28, is organized by the Historical Yacht Club of Greece.
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Uploaded to YouTube by Κωνσταντίνος Κουκουδάκης
Oxi Day commemorates the rejection by Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas (r. August 4, 1936—January 29, 1941) of the ultimatum, made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on October 28, 1940, demanding that Greece allow Axis forces to enter Greek territory and occupy certain unspecified “strategic locations” or otherwise face war. Read more.
Photograph from Foni tis Ydras (http://fonitisydras.com/index.php/info/society/item/995-lampros_o_eortasmos_ths_ethnikhs_mas_epeteiou).
Born in 1770, Constantine the Hydriot, Hydra’s patron saint, was a neo-martyr from the period of the Turkish occupation of Greece. Constantine had converted to Islam when living in Rhodes, then later reverted to the Orthodox faith. The Turkish authorities imprisoned him for apostasy and hung him on November 14, 1800. He is celebrated on November 14 to huge feasting and fanfare on Hydra.
Constantine’s family lived in the Kiaffa area of Hydra. Today, the Cathdral of Konstantinos is built on the site of his birth. From the concrete terrace adjoining the church you can enjoy a stunning view of Kiaffa, over the roofs cascading down to the port and to Kamini, then across the harbor to the Peloponnese beyond.
The Athens Polytechnic uprising in 1973 was a massive demonstration of popular rejection of the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. The uprising began on November 14, 1973, escalated to an open anti-junta revolt and ended in bloodshed in the early morning of November 17 after a series of events starting with a tank crashing through the gates of the Polytechnic.
November 17 is currently observed as a holiday in Greece for all educational establishments; commemorative services are held and students attend school only for these, while some schools and all universities stay closed during the day. The central location for the commemoration is the campus of the Polytechneio. The campus is closed on the 15th (the day the students first occupied the campus on 1973). Students and politicians lay wreaths on a monument within the Polytechneio on which the names of Polytechneio students killed during the Greek Resistance in the 1940s are inscribed. The commemoration day ends traditionally with a demonstration that begins from the campus of the Polytechneio and ends at the United States embassy.
The student uprising is hailed by many as a valiant act of resistance against the military dictatorship, and therefore as a symbol of resistance to tyranny. Others believe that the uprising was used as a pretext by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannidis to put an abrupt end to the process of ostensible liberalisation of the regime undertaken by Spiros Markezinis.
From Wikipedia’s page “Athens Polytechnic uprising.”
While not quite as prominent as Easter, or Pascha, Christmas is still an important holiday celebrated on Hydra, as witnessed by the festive lights and other decorations adorning the harbor, as well as lamp posts, railings, and shop and house windows throughout the town. Read about Christmas on Hydra.