The main celebrations in Albania for the 200 year anniversary of the Greek Revolution are postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although parades are not allowed, the Greeks of Albania expect to celebrate Greek Independence Day on March 25 through church services, school events and online activities.
“The pandemic is shifting events to autumn,” noted Fredi Beleris, the president of the Omonia organisation, to Sputnik Hellas.
“Some of the school events will have a physical presence while others will only take place with internet coverage,” he continued.
As he explained, in Heimarra (Χειμάρρα, Albanian: Himarë) they are preparing the bicentennial with the publication of an album with independent heroes that originated from the Greek-majority town.
Among them, special reference will be made to General Spyros Milios, as well as the unit of 250 rebels from Heimarra that were under the command of the Milios brothers who participated in the famous siege and escape from Messolonghi.
Special reports will be made about the Heimarriotes that participated in the last campaigns against the Ottoman Empire in western Central Greece during 1828 and 1829.
“Such an album is the least we can do in the midst of this situation,” said Beleris.
With masks and social distancing, events will be taking place in Albania according to Leonidas Pappas, a member of Omonia.
“People will normally go to church to celebrate the anniversary, but this will be done with a mask and with a limited attendance of people inside the place of worship,” Pappas said.
“There are also events rescheduled for October,” he continued, adding: “It is unknown whether the pandemic will eventually allow us to carry them out.”
It is noted that some of the neighboring Greek schools have already held thematic events for the bicentennial celebration.
One of them is the Greek school Homer where the young students paid tribute to the Souliotisses and their sacrifice.
As part of the celebration, a dance of Zalongos was performed in the courtyard of the castle of Heimarra.