“Clean Monday”…Kathara Deftera in Greece!

Today in Greece the Greeks celebrate Clean Monday ” Kathara Deftera” which marks the end of the carnival and the beginning of Great lent. It is called this because Christians  begin this season with “clean hearts and good intentions”.

Due to the fact that this day is also considered the first day of Spring families gather together for picnics or other outside activities dining on fabulous seafood’s,  vegetable dishes , traditional “Lagana” bread and good wine. Meat is forbidden.

Lagana Bread.

Lagana Bread.

 

 

Lahanodolmades.

Lahanodolmades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also characteristic of ” Kathara Deftera ” is the flying of kites. The skies fill with hundreds of them.  It is said that by flying a kite a person becomes purified by sending away all evil. It was also considered a way of warding off the Devil in ancient times.

Flying the kite

Flying the kite

Children make a ” Kyria Sarakosti” from either paper, clay or baked dough.  She has no mouth, a sign of fasting. She has no ears as she refuses to listen to gossip. There is a sign of the cross on her head, her eyes are shut and her arms folded as if in prayer, reminding us of the spiritual journey through lent. She has seven feet symbolizing the seven Sundays before Easter. Each Saturday one of her feet are cut or broken off until she has no more after Easter Saturday

Kyria Sarakosti

Kyria Sarakosti

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