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Posts Tagged ‘Clean Monday’

Lady Lent on a Clean (Ash) Monday.

In All, Culture, Greece on March 18, 2013 at 10:35 am

Clean Monday.

Today is Clean (Ash) Monday in Greece. In Greek, Kathara Deftera (Καθαρά Δευτέρα).

It signifies the end of the Carnival and the beginning of the 40 days of Lent leading up to Greek Easter.

It is called Clean Monday because on this day housewives would clean all cooking pots and bronze utensils with hot water & ashes so as to initiate the detox.

On this day the food eaten is halva, fish roe salad, lagana (unleavened bread), olives, pickles &  seafood.

Depicted is Lady Lent*.

A woman with folded hands and seven legs,  symbolizing the 7 weeks of fasting, one leg for each week. She prays and fasts with a closed mouth.  The Lady Lent is a drawing on paper, a special calendar that counts the weeks of Lent, the days of fasting. Every Saturday a leg is cut off.

The last leg is cut on Holy Saturday. This piece is then used to wrap a dry fig which is hidden. Whoever finds it is said to be lucky.

In other parts of Greece the Lady Lent is made with dough.

The traditional Clean Monday unleavened bread, lagana, is said to look like her.

It is a rapidly vanishing Greek tradition.

 * image source: http://e-children.blogspot.gr/2012/01/blog-post_22.html