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Changing of the Guard

The evzones at the Parliament Building put on a free show

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Changing of the Guard, Athens, Greece

Changing of the Guard, Athens, Greece

Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

The Changing of the Guard at the Parliament Building at Syntagma Square in Athens is a fun bit of pageantry worth watching if you find yourself in the area at 11am each morning. The "big" show is on Sundays at 11, when more guards participate and the ceremony is more complex.

While not as dramatic as that "other" Changing of the Guard in London, England, it's fun to watch the synchronized movements of the costumed guards. They are carefully selected for the honor of participating, and most of them are very tall, averaging over 6'3".

The uniforms of the evzones recall different areas and eras in Greek history, with the pleated kilt or fustanella and pom-pom decorated footwear catching the most attention. The kilt may stretch back four thousand years into ancient Minoan times, when the kilt was the common clothing item of Cretan men, usually enhanced with a large dagger stuck into the waistband.

 

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