The start Of Lent
For Greek Orthodox, 23 February 2015 is Clean Monday (Kathari Theftera) and thus is the first day of Great Lent; It’s start marks exactly seven weeks before Greek Easter. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday. The “Clean” signifies two meanings: the cleansing of the body and of the spirit.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Cyprus & Greece which marks the end of the carnival festive season and the start of Lent or the period of fasting until Easter. Weather permitting, people spend Clean Monday outdoors, organizing picnics or BBQs while children fly kites.
Since it marks the beginning of the fasting period special food is eaten on this day. Eating red meat, poultry, fish or dairy products is not permitted. However, a host of other dishes and delicacies are available: lagana (a special unleavened bread eaten only on this day), taramasalata (a fish roe spread), dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with rice), grilled octopus, gigantes plaki (oven baked broad beans), seafood salads and shellfish as well as a special semolina pudding known as halvas are a small portion of the unique tastes of the day accompanied by joyous music.
The Duration of Great Lent
There is something significant each week during Great Lent. Below are the days most important that have a religious significance:
- Sunday of Orthodoxy
- Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas
- Sunday of the Holy Cross
- Sunday of St. John Climacus
- Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
- Palm Sunday – Holy Saturday
- Easter Sunday
Come back for regular updates on one of the most important events in our calendar