Kathari Deftera ~ Clean Monday

This first day of Lent is celebrated forty days before Paska (Greek Easter), and (at least in regard to food), stands in strong contrast to the three preceding weeks of meat centered feasting, drinking, and carousing during Apokries, which has climaxed on the preceding day. Many people celebrate it with a picnic outdoors, if weather permits.

Among the traditional Lenten foods served is the flat bread called 'lagana', which is topped with sesame seeds. Though meat and dairy are prohibited, octopus and kalamari are eaten, along with any kind of pulses (lentils, beans, peas, etc.).

p> Wine is drunk at this meal as well, and there is dancing and kite flying, the latter a custom that began in Athens, and which takes place there on Filopappou hill, in the green park next to the Acropolis, as well as all over Greece in the countryside, with people trying to outdo one another with the beauty, uniqueness, or high flying capacities of their kites. Satirical, or even raunchy jokes, are told on this day, rather surprisingly, given the shift from the indulgences of Apokries to the stringencies of Sarakosti.