Clean Monday in Greece

Clean Monday is one of the most important feasts all over Greece, each year indicating the 40-day period of the Great Lent for the Eastern Greek Orthodox Church, which is called “Sarakosti.” The feast begins on the first day of the 7th week before the Orthodox Easter Sunday. Concurrently, Clean Monday mean the end of Carnival celebrations.

 This day is vividly celebrated in whole Greece with various traditions and it is regarded as holiday. A kind of bread which is not kneaded called “lagana” is  eaten exclusively during that day.It is common to eat legumes all over Greece, tarama, halva, seafood, vegetables, olives and beans without oil. The main customs throughout Greece are the kite flying, but also the so-called Gaitanaki, a custom brought by the refugees from Asia Minor. In a lot of other places of Greece some customs have their roots in Ottoman period such the one of Aga in Chios where in a theatrical Agas as a judge he condemns the spectators with pleasure. Another rooted custom in the Turkish occupation is that of a resident of Alexandroupolis in Bey and her journey to the city of wishes. The inhabitants of Poros clean their cooking recipes from the fat of the meat consumed in the Rivers in a scent called scream. In some villages of Corfu, the Pope’s Dance takes place where the priests perform a dance followed by the elders.

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