Today is Kathara Deftera, or Clean Monday, a public holiday in Greece which marks the end of Apokries and the start of Lent (Sarakosti). After several weeks of partying and the barbecue-fest of Tsiknopempti, this is the day when Greeks mark the start of a season of fasting before Easter.
Kathara Deftera is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of fasting food and the widespread custom of flying kites. Clean Monday comes with its own set of cuisine and dietary traditions. Families gather together and eat shellfish, taramosalata, legumes, halva and a special kind of bread baked only on that day named “lagana”.
Also, traditionally, Clean Monday is considered to mark the beginning of spring, and many people go out to fly a kite, filling the skies with colourful kites.
Kali Sarakosti – Happy Lent to all of you…