Καθαρή Δευτέρα – Ash Monday

arrowEnglish version further below

Εικόνες από άκρη σε άκρη της Κρήτης με τη βοήθεια της Παγκρήτιας τοπικής Τηλεόρηασης.

…….. English version ……..

Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρή Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The common term for this day, «Clean Monday,» refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods.

Liturgically, Clean Monday—and thus Lent itself—begins on the preceding (Sunday) night, at a special service called Forgiveness Vespers, which culminates with the Ceremony of Mutual Forgiveness, at which all present will bow down before one another and ask forgiveness. In this way, the faithful begin Lent with a clean conscience, with forgiveness, and with renewed Christian love. The entire first week of Great Lent is often referred to as «Clean Week,» and it is customary to go to Confession during this week, and to clean the house thoroughly.

Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood (shellfish, molluscs, fish roe etc).

Here below you can see a video on how Cretan celebrated the day. It was a sunny warm day and people had the chance to enjoy themselves outside, in the country!

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