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We are in the town of Messolonghi, next to the Gate of Iera Polis (the sacred town), where vehicles and citizens have gathered holding banners, in order to welcome the Greek Prime Minister Andreas G. Papandreou, who arrives to celebrate the anniversary of the heroic siege of Messolonghi. Every year in Messolonghi, on the two days of Lazarus and the Palm Sunday, the Anniversary of the heroic siege of the Greek Rebels against the Ottoman Empire is celebrated (April 10, 1826), during the Greek Revolution. To the right direction of the Gate is the Hatzikosta Hospital and in the background the Liberty Hotel.

The policemen and traffic wardens are on duty for the smooth traffic, the Messolonghi residents are dressed with traditional costumes and the town is flagged from end to end. Crowds of people have gathered in Markos Botsaris Square, listening from the speaker of the event through the loudspeakers a psalm and we see lined up soldiers from the Greek Army Corps. Banners with slogans are hung in the surrounding buildings.

In the next shots, traditional "cavalrymen" alongside the gathered people welcome the car, with vayia (branches of various plants) in the car’s roof, which transports the Prime Minister and stops at one of the symbolic gates that are set up every year on such days. The Prime Minister gets off the car, the crowd welcomes him with enthusiasm as he is followed by his wife Margarita Papandreou. They are led to the Old Town Hall, now the Municipal Gallery, where the speeches will take place, the Philharmonic orchestra plays as the people applaud him and “sprinkle” him with rose petals.

We see a small part of the speech of the-then-Mayor Costas Antoniou and the speech is taken by Andreas Papandreou who thanks the citizens for the enthusiastic reception, while he is surrounded by the-then-Speaker of the Parliament Giannis Alevras and other associates.

A parade follows, on Iroon Polytechniou Street, which is preceded by a playing orchestra in uniform, with groups of students from the elementary and high schools of Messolonghi, but also adults who wear traditional costumes of many geographical parts of Greece. We can stand out the formations from Thrace, the Cyclades, Epirus, the Dodecanese, the Ionian islands, Cyprus, the Red Cross, etc.

Then, we see young people in local traditional costumes [fustanella (a traditional pleated skirt-like garment worn by men), shirt, vest, belt, fez (a short cylindrical peakless hat), socks and tsarouchia (type of shoe)] to carry the icon of the siege of Messolonghi.

The procession reaches the Garden of Heroes, the icon is followed on foot by Andreas Papandreou, Giannis Alevras, the Mayor of the town and other officials.

The Prime Minister watches the trisagion (Thrice Holy is a standard hymn of the Divine Liturgy in most of the Eastern Orthodox) that is held in the memory of the deceased, while behind him stand the PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement, a political party in Greece) executives such as Giannis Skoularikis, George Katsifaras, his wife Margarita, etc., as well as the political and military authorities of the place. The bust of Markos Mpotsaris, Greek chief of the Greek Revolution of 1821 is visible in the background.

The laying of wreaths by the Prime Minister and the Speaker of Parliament at the Tomb of the fighters of the Iera’s Polis guard of Messolonghi follows. The National Anthem is heard and lastly Andreas Papandreou awards medals and prizes to the runners who ran from St. Symios to the Garden, according to the custom.



Film Information

Tsamadias Spyros

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm