Clean (or Ash) Monday is a public holiday in 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 while children fly kites. Children make "Kyra Sarakosti," (Lady Lent), a paper doll with seven legs to represent the seven weeks of Lent. Every week, a leg is cut off to show how many weeks remain until Easter.
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 is available: lagana (a special unleavened bread eaten only on this day), taramosalata (a fish roe spread), dolmadakia (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 just some of them.
Athens Plus: Clean Monday Feasting while fasting (27.02) (p. 24-25);
See also: City of Athens – Clean Monday celebrations; Organically cooked: Clean Monday
Source: GREEK NEWS AGENDA issued by the Secretariat Genera
*The Embassy of Greece does not endorse external links.