Feast Day: February 27, 2023
⛪ Clean Monday (Kathari Theftera/Καθαρά Δευτέρα) is the first day of Greek Orthodox Lent and occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday. Clean Monday refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods such as meat, fish, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs. Shellfish, lagana (λαγάνα) bread baked only on that day, taramosalata, boiled shrimp, halva, etc. are eaten instead.
Clean Monday is proceeded by Greek Carnival (Apokries/Απόκριες) which entails weeks of masquerading, eating, drinking, dancing, and extravagant parades. Dating back to Dionysos, this ancient festival celebrated the Greek god of wine, fun, and fertility.
On Clean Monday, traditional customs include flying kites and making a paper doll with seven legs, called "Kyra Sarakosti," Lady Lent, for the seven weeks of Lent. Each week, a leg is removed to show how many weeks remain until Easter.
Image: The image depicts someone launching a kite.
When does Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Lent start in 2023?
- 2023 - Monday, February 27
- 2024 - Monday, March 18
- 2025 - Monday, March 3
- 2026 - Monday, February 23
- 2027 - Monday, March 15
- 2028 - Monday, February 28
- 2029 - Monday, February 19
- 2030 - Monday, March 11