Clean Monday is a movable holiday celebrated 48 days before Easter Sunday and this year it is celebrated on February 27.
This day marks the beginning of Lent on the one hand, and the end of Apokries on the other, and was named by the Christians, as body and spirit are “cleansed” with the beginning of the fast. A fast which lasts for 40 days, exactly the same as Christ’s fasting days in the desert.
There are various customs throughout Greece related to this celebration, with perhaps the most characteristic one being the kite flying. This favorite tradition of mainly young children also has its symbolism: the flying of the kite resembles the human spirit, which was created not to stay on the earth, but to fly in the heavens, and in this way we come a little closer to God. Many are those who do not simply buy their kite, but begin preparations days before Holy Monday, and “build” it from scratch themselves. It is an “art” that in many families is taught from generation to generation.
But apart from the kite, this day is of course combined with specific dishes, always in the context of the fasting mentioned above. Lagana (a type of bread produced only on that day), halva, bean soup, taramas, are flavours that are not missed from any table on the day of Clean Monday.
In Ofrynio Beach – Costa Ofrynio, as in the rest of Greece, Koulouma, as it is usually called, is celebrated with fun, good food, traditional music, and good company. Many people (locals, people from the surrounding areas and tourists) enjoy the Aegean breeze by flying kites on the beach, having fun at local events, or visiting one of the fish taverns.