Clean Monday in Greece: Lent traditions

People in Greece honor the church calendar. For example, the day of Lent is a national holiday. On this day, shops and markets, public and private institutions are closed. On Clean Monday, people wish each other “good Lent” or “good Pentecost” and try to attend church to receive communion.

5 interesting Greek traditions of Lent

  • Get up before sunrise and take a bath or shower to cleanse the body.
  • Do a general cleaning of your home – even to remove the fat adhering to the metal utensils.
  • Go on a picnic in the countryside.
  • Kite flying.
  • Eat a lean cake "lagoon".

How the Greeks spend Clean Monday

In 2020, Clean Monday falls on March 2. This day immediately follows the Forgiveness Sunday and marks the beginning of Lent, which ends with Easter. Traditionally, it is celebrated outdoors. Citizens travel to groves, forests, lakes and the coast. Those living in the countryside climb the nearest steep hill to launch a kite from there. It can be purchased or homemade. On Clean Monday, sellers with snakes fill all the streets.

Customs and cuisine

In addition to the Orthodox traditions of meeting the first day of fasting in Greece, there are also semi-pagan customs, which not all adhere to. For example, some unmarried girls want to see a man in a dream, whom they will soon marry.

In addition to the Orthodox traditions of celebrating the first day of fasting in Greece, there are also semi-pagan customs, which not all adhere to. For example, some unmarried girls want to see in a dream a man whom they will soon marry. To do this, they eat kuluri on Clean Monday, but do not drink it with water. There is a belief that salty bagels will cause thirst, so the future groom will be forced to come in a dream and give a drink to the girl whom he is destined to marry.

The housewives pay special attention to copper utensils. It is cleaned of fat and rubbed to a mirror shine. The symbolism of this tradition is not only to restore order in the house on Clean Monday, but also is a commemoration of the rejection of meat for 48 days. It is believed that after rubbing copper dishes from the house, the spirit of meat and carnival revelations preceding the post are expelled.

For those who can not do without meat and replace it with seafood for the period of fasting, fish taverns are always open. Instead of sweet and high-calorie pastries, they serve lean cakes with olives, herbs, onions and beans. And halva for dessert.

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