March 27, 2011

0 Greece: Evzones; Elaborate Changing of the Guard

 The Evzones are an elite ceremonial unit of the Hellenic (Greek) Army.  Their primary duty is to stand guard over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in front of Parliament.  The regular changing of the guard occurs every hour, with a more elaborate and ceremonial changing of the guard occurring Sundays at 11 AM.  The guards on duty must stand perfectly still for two twenty minute intervals during their hour of duty, but between these stationary times they perform very intricate and stylized movements as they change positions.  This image is from the guards on duty when we stopped by on Friday afternoon.

 We headed back Sunday morning, a little before 10 AM, as Paul wanted to see the elaborate changeover. 

 One of the guards on duty in the stationary mode.

 The regular changing of the guards, at 10 AM. 

 The incoming guards are inspected and adjusted.  This is the traditional winter dress.  The kilt has 400 pleats, ironed before each wearing, representing the 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

 The elaborate changeover involves a parade with the military band and two units of evzones.

 The blue uniform to the left is the Cretan ceremonial uniform.  

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