Clean Monday Celebration In Greece

Clean Monday is one of the most important bank holidays in Greece. This tradition does not have a stable day of celebration but is dependent on Orthodox Easter.

Clean Monday is celebrated 50 days before Orthodox Easter, and it marks the beginning of the Great Lent period for Orthodox believers and the end of the Greek Carnival.

Greece’s Carnival season, known as “Apokries,” It is a period which traditionally begins ten weeks before Greek Orthodox Easter and culminates on the weekend before Clean Monday. People dress up and parade in the streets as well as celebrate at people’s homes and have fancy dress-up parties.

Clean Monday was named so because it calls people to leave behind all sinful habits, including non-fasting food, thus “purifying” or “cleansing” the body and soul.

Another name for Clean Monday is Koulouma. Koulouma means the massive visit of people to the countryside to celebrate Clean Monday. The word derives from the Latin word “columus”, which means excess and aplenty.

The celebrations of Clean Monday have as a main activity, kite-flying. When the weather allows it, young and old, families and friends go to the countryside and attempt to fly a kite.

Usually, you will also find traditional Greek music and different happenings, organized by the public authorities.

It is common all over Greece to eat lagana, the famous unleavened bread prepared only that day, taramosalatahalva, seafood, vegetables, olives, and bean soup without oil.

Till next time…

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