The Evzoni are selected soldiers of the Greek army, more commonly known as tsoliades. Their costume was officially established by King Otto of Greece, which he also wore to official appearances. Through the historical action of the Evzoni battalions, the Evzoni have been reduced to symbols of bravery for the Greek people. Nowadays, the soldiers of the Presidential Guard are called “Evzoni”, who perform symbolic missions, with the central guarding of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the Presidential Palace.
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Symbolism of their Clothing
It is the hat of the well-to-do. The Fario is red in color and is made of felt (baize). In place of the front bears the Greek coat of arms. A characteristic part of the Fario is the long black tassel, made of silk. Its shape is considered to symbolize the tear of Christ at the Crucifixion.
It is the vest of Evzona. It is the most difficult, in terms of its construction. It has white and gold-plated threads, which depict designs of folklore significance. One of them is the initials “X” and “O”, which are considered to correspond to the words Christian and Orthodox.
They are the shoes of the Evzona’s costume. They are red in color and made of leather. On the sole of each tsarouki are nailed about 60 nails, which are responsible for the imposing sound that is heard when walking while wearing their costume. On average, each tsarouchi weighs three kilograms. A characteristic part of tsarouchia are the black tassels to which their noses end. It is believed that their original use was to hide in them small sharp objects that could suddenly injure the enemy in a close battle. Another view is that the tassels protected the toes from snow and frost.
Today’s evzoni perform only ritual missions. The most famous is the symbolic guarding of the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, located in Syntagma Square, next to the Greek Parliament.
Evzoni also accompany the Holy Light every year, in its transport from Jerusalem to Athens.
Participation in the accompaniment of the Holy Light is considered the highest honor for an Evzona. On the 25th of March every year, a section of well-wishers participates in addition to the parade in Athens and in the festive events of the Greek community in the USA, holding a parade on 5th Avenue in New York. In recent years, they participate in the anniversary of the departure of Messolonghi, accompanying the icon and the liberation of Ioannina, parading on the main boulevard of the city.
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Dimensions:10 × 20 × 30 in
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