Clean Monday (Greek: Καθαρά Δευτέρα), also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Great Lent (Megali Sarakosti, which means the 40 days of Lent before Easter) .
The common term for this day, "Clean Monday", refers to the leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named "lagana" (Greek:λαγάνα) and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days. Traditionally, it is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season. (Wikipedia.com).
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