Clean Monday in Greece in 2021

Clean Monday in Greece in 2021
The sight of colourful kites in the sky in Greece means that it’s Clean Monday, the beginning of Great Lent.

  How long until Clean Monday?
This holiday next takes place in 173 days.
  Dates of Clean Monday in Greece
2022 Greece Mon, Mar 7 National Holiday
2021 Greece Mon, Mar 15 National Holiday
2020 Greece Mon, Mar 2 National Holiday
2019 Greece Mon, Mar 11 National Holiday
2018 Greece Mon, Feb 19 National Holiday
Also known as Ash Monday. Clean Monday begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches
  Local name
Kathará Deftéra
  Clean Monday in other countries
Clean Monday internationally
Related holidays

When is Clean Monday?

Also known as Orthodox Shrove Monday or Ash Monday. In Cyprus, the holiday may be called 'Green Monday'.

Clean Monday begins the season of Great Lent in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Traditions of Clean Monday

Great Lent corresponds to Lent as found in Western Christianity, though the length of the periods are calculated in different ways. They both use a period of 40 days between the beginning and end of Lent, because of the 40 days that Jesus is said to have spent fasting the desert. However, Western Christendom doesn't count Sundays because Jesus is recorded as having resurrected on a Sunday, whereas Eastern Orthodox churches do count Sundays.

This first day of Great Lent is called "Clean Monday" because Christians should begin the holy season with "clean hearts and good intentions." It is also because the season of Lent is regarded as a time for when Christians should clean up their spiritual house, coming to terms with their lives and rededicating themselves to a more holy and righteous way of living.

Clean Monday is a day of strict fasting. Christians are not allowed to eat from midnight to noon and can have no meat at all. Christians are also expected to spend extra time praying during the day and reading from the Bible.

Because Clean Monday is also considered to mark the first day of spring, Greeks tend to celebrate it with outdoor activities and picnics rather than fasting and prayer. These activities are often called 'koulouma'.

Traditional foods include olives, octopus, and shrimp. A special kind of unleavened bread called "lagana" is baked only on Clean Monday.

In addition to picnics, outdoor activities used to celebrate the day include flying kites, dancing, music, etc.

Did you know?

According to some, kite flying was brought to Greece from the east - kites were flown in ancient China at as far back as 1,000 BC. However, others state that it goes back to the experiments of the Greek mathematician and engineers Archytas in about 400 BC.

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