Clean Monday - Kathara Deftera image

The meaning of Clean Monday

Clean Monday holds significant meaning as it marks the conclusion of the month-long Greek Carnival festivities, signifying a shift from indulgence to austerity. For Greek Orthodox believers, Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the fasting period leading up to Easter. During this time, they partake in special Lenten dishes, known as 'nistisima' or 'Sarakostiana', which primarily consist of legumes, vegetables, grains, and seafood, reflecting a focus on simplicity and spiritual reflection.

Clean Monday - Kathara Deftera

In Greece, Clean Monday is observed every year on the sixth Monday after Palm Sunday. Monday Clean (Greek: ') Because it is dependent on Lent, ’) is a movable holiday with no fixed day of celebration.
Clean Monday is precisely when Orthodox Christians begin their Great Lent, which begins fifty days before Orthodox Easter. (Especially in Cyprus), Clean Monday is also known as "Ash Monday," "Pure Monday," "Orthodox Shrove Monday," "Monday of Lent," or "Green Monday."
Greeks typically celebrate Clean Monday with "koulouma," which are outdoor activities and picnics. Clean Monday is also regarded as the first day of spring. It is a symbol of the transition from feasting to fasting and marks the end of Greek Carnival, which lasted for a month.
On Clean Monday, Greek Orthodox celebrate Lent with special dishes made with seafood, legumes, vegetables, grains, and grains (known as "nistisima" or "Sarakostiana").


What can you eat on Clean Monday?

All kinds of meat and its by-products are not consumed until Easter Monday, and some people even deprive themselves of olive oil. However, fish and seafood are allowed because they do not have blood.

Lagana- The bread of Clean Monday

Lagana Greeks bake a special kind of unleavened bread called "lagana" on Clean Monday, which is similar to the matzah that Jews eat on Passover. The story of lagana, which can be found in the Old Testament, is about how God helped the Israelites move from Egypt to the promised land. On this national holiday, other outdoor activities include dancing, music, flying kites, and picnics. Visitors of all ages flock to the picturesque countryside to fly their bright kites in the bright sky. Clean Monday is also associated with distinctive regional traditions and customs in various parts of the country.
According to some, kite flying was brought to Greece from the east - kites were flown in ancient China as far back as 1,000 BC. However, others state that it goes back to the experiments of the Greek mathematician and engineers Archytas in about 400 BC.


The term "Sarakontiana Lent" is used to refer to a whole group of foods that are all fasting-related.
In point of fact, this has been the standard for naming all of the foods we consume during the fasting period. However, the Great Lent fast, also known as the Easter fast, is the source of their name.
When we talk about "lenten," we're primarily referring to the seafood that is served on our tables during the days of fasting. However, we can also refer to other fasting dishes like pickles, olives, halva, legumes, vegetables, pasta, taramosalata, octopus, and shrimp. etc. However, Greek Orthodox churches allow the consumption of mollusks and shellfish.
On the first day of Great Lent, we frequently refer to the foods on the table as Clean Monday.
Traditionally, Orthodox Christians are not allowed to eat dairy products, meat, or eggs during Lent. They can only eat fish on two major feast days: on Palm Sunday and March 25, the day of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
Kyra Sarakosti, also known as Lady Lent, is also created by Greek children. She is either made of dough or cardboard cutouts, has seven legs, and no mouth or ears. Until Easter, children cut off one of her legs every week.

Shop's working hours on clean Monday

Clean Monday is a holiday in Greece, but not for everyone. Shop hours on Clean Monday As stipulated by the applicable legislation, some establishments, including retail stores and public services, will continue to operate.
Although it's best to check locally, the majority of supermarkets remain closed or open until 2:00 p.m.
Clean Monday is observed on: canteens, nut shops, small markets (mini markets), photo studios, entertainment centres, hotels, patisseries, dairies, florists, gas stations, kiosks, shops, and facilities operating in the Central Markets including small food stores, bakeries, small groceries, wineries, catering shops of all kinds, wineries, and kiosks.
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