Why Do Greeks Eat Hake on March 25th?


Tradition calls for Greeks, every year on the anniversary of March 25th, to have hake with garlic dip for their family dinner. The reason behind this tradition is that apart from being a National Holiday, March 25th is also a day dedicated to Virgin Mary, therefore making it a joyful celebration amongst the 40-day fast that allows fish, oil and wine to be consumed.

Hake with garlic is the traditional treat of the day, as the day has a double meaning for the Greek culture: the Annunciation, and the Revolution of 1821. The explanation behind the specific choice of fish is very simple and has to do mainly with the inability of the inhabitants of the inland to have fresh and cheap fish. Despite the fact that hake is not a “Greek” fish, as it is usually found in the shores of North-Eastern Atlantic, the fish can be cured, therefore making it cheap and easy to preserve.

Hake made its appearance on the Greek tables at about the 15th century, and ever since constitutes the “national” food of March 25th.


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