Rebetiko , initially a music associated with the lower classes, later and especially after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey reached greater general acceptance as the rough edges of its overt subcultural character were softened and polished, sometimes to the point of unrecognizability.
Regarding the classical music, it was through the Ionian islands which were under western rule and influence that all the major advances of the western European classical music were introduced to mainland Greeks. The region is notable for the birth of the first School of modern Greek classical music Heptanesean or Ionian School , Greek: In the 20th century, Greek composers have had a significant impact on the development of avant garde and modern classical music , with figures such as Iannis Xenakis , Nikos Skalkottas , and Dimitri Mitropoulos achieving international prominence.
Greek American composers known for their film scores include also Yanni and Basil Poledouris. During the dictatorship of the Colonels , the music of Mikis Theodorakis was banned by the junta and the composer was jailed, internally exiled, and put in a concentration camp ,  before finally being allowed to leave Greece due to international reaction to his detention.
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Released during the junta years, Anthrope Agapa, ti Fotia Stamata Make Love, Stop the Gunfire , by the pop group Poll is considered the first anti-war protest song in the history of Greek rock. Greece participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 35 times after its debut at the Contest. Greek cuisine is characteristic of the healthy Mediterranean diet , which is epitomised by dishes of Crete. Throughout Greece people often enjoy eating from small dishes such as meze with various dips such as tzatziki , grilled octopus and small fish, feta cheese , dolmades rice, currants and pine kernels wrapped in vine leaves , various pulses , olives and cheese.
Olive oil is added to almost every dish. Some sweet desserts include melomakarona , diples and galaktoboureko , and drinks such as ouzo , metaxa and a variety of wines including retsina. Greek cuisine differs widely from different parts of the mainland and from island to island. It uses some flavorings more often than other Mediterranean cuisines: Other common herbs and spices include basil , thyme and fennel seed.
Many Greek recipes, especially in the northern parts of the country, use "sweet" spices in combination with meat, for example cinnamon and cloves in stews. Cinema first appeared in Greece in , but the first actual cine-theatre was opened in in Athens.
In the Asty Films Company was founded and the production of long films began. The s and early s are considered by many to be a "golden age" of Greek cinema. Directors and actors of this era were recognised as important figures in Greece and some gained international acclaim: More than sixty films per year were made, with the majority having film noir elements. During the s and s, Theo Angelopoulos directed a series of notable and appreciated movies.
Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games , first recorded in BC in Olympia , and hosted the modern Olympic Games twice, the inaugural Summer Olympics and the Summer Olympics. During the parade of nations Greece is always called first, as the founding nation of the ancient precursor of modern Olympics. The nation has competed at every Summer Olympic Games , one of only four countries to have done so. Having won a total of medals 30 gold, 42 silver and 38 bronze , Greece is ranked 32nd by gold medals in the all-time Summer Olympic medal count.
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Their best ever performance was in the Summer Olympics, when Greece finished second in the medal table with 10 gold medals. The Greek national football team , ranking 12th in the world in and having reached a high of 8th in the world in and ,  were crowned European Champions in Euro in one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. The Greek national basketball team has a decades-long tradition of excellence in the sport, being considered among the world's top basketball powers. As of [update] , it ranked 4th in the world and 2nd in Europe.
The domestic top basketball league, A1 Ethniki , is composed of fourteen teams.
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Greek basketball teams are the most successful in European basketball the last 25 years , having won 9 Euroleagues since the establishment of the modern era Euroleague Final Four format in , while no other nation has won more than 4 Euroleague championships in this period.
After the European Championship triumph of the Greek national basketball team, Greece became the reigning European Champion in both football and basketball.
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The Greece women's national water polo team have emerged as one of the leading powers in the world, becoming World Champions after their gold medal win against the hosts China at the World Championship. They also won the silver medal at the Summer Olympics , the gold medal at the World League and the silver medals at the and European Championships.
The Greece men's national water polo team became the third best water polo team in the world in , after their win against Croatia in the bronze medal game at the World Aquatics Championships in Canada. The domestic top water polo leagues, Greek Men's Water Polo League and Greek Women's Water Polo League are considered amongst the top national leagues in European water polo, as its clubs have made significant success in European competitions.
The Greek league, the A1 Ethniki , is considered one of the top volleyball leagues in Europe and the Greek clubs have had significant success in European competitions. Olympiacos is the most successful volleyball club in the country having won the most domestic titles and being the only Greek club to have won European titles; they have won two CEV Cups , they have been CEV Champions League runners-up twice and they have played in 12 Final Fours in the European competitions, making them one of the most traditional volleyball clubs in Europe.
Iraklis have also seen significant success in European competitions, having been three times runners-up of the CEV Champions League. Apart from these, cricket is relatively popular in Corfu. The numerous gods of the ancient Greek religion as well as the mythical heroes and events of the ancient Greek epics The Odyssey and The Iliad and other pieces of art and literature from the time make up what is nowadays colloquially referred to as Greek mythology. Apart from serving a religious function, the mythology of the ancient Greek world also served a cosmological role as it was meant to try to explain how the world was formed and operated.
The principal gods of the ancient Greek religion were the Dodekatheon , or the Twelve Gods , who lived on the top of Mount Olympus. The most important of all ancient Greek gods was Zeus , the king of the gods, who was married to Hera , who was also Zeus's sister. Apart from these twelve gods, Greeks also had a variety of other mystical beliefs, such as nymphs and other magical creatures.
According to Greek law, every Sunday of the year is a public holiday. Since the late '70s, Saturday also is a non school and not working day. In addition, there are four mandatory official public holidays: There are, however, more public holidays celebrated in Greece than are announced by the Ministry of Labour each year as either obligatory or optional. The list of these non-fixed national holidays rarely changes and has not changed in recent decades, giving a total of eleven national holidays each year.
In addition to the national holidays, there are public holidays that are not celebrated nationwide, but only by a specific professional group or a local community.
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On such days it is customary for schools to take the day off. Notable festivals, beyond the religious fests, include Patras Carnival , Athens Festival and various local wine festivals.
The city of Thessaloniki is also home of a number of festivals and events. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Greece disambiguation and Hellas. Hellenistic Greece and Roman Greece. Wars of Alexander the Great and Roman Empire. Byzantine Greece and Frankokratia.
Byzantine Empire and Fourth Crusade. Phanariotes and Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Kingdom of Candia and Ionian Islands under Venetian rule. History of modern Greece. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. October Learn how and when to remove this template message. Greek War of Independence.
List of islands of Greece. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Political parties of Greece. Foreign relations of Greece. Judicial system of Greece and Law enforcement in Greece. The Greek-made frigate Psara used by the Hellenic Navy. Administrative divisions of Greece. Greek shipping and List of ports in Greece. September Learn how and when to remove this template message. List of Greek inventions and discoveries.
List of cities in Greece.
Largest cities or towns in Greece Hellenic Statistical Authority census . Hellenismos , Ancient Greek religion , and Romaniote Jews. Greek language , Languages of Greece , and Minorities in Greece. Greek Diaspora and Immigration to Greece.