Greece is a country of traditions and culture and one celebration which embraces both is “Kathara Deftera’ which translates to Clean Monday.
Kathara Deftera is a bank holiday that each year is on a different date since it is directly connected with Greek Easter.
On Kathara Deftera food plays major part again but the special about this day is that meat, fish, eggs and dairy products are forbidden.
Clean Monday is either celebrated indoors or outdoors. Wherever it takes place the food is an unrepeatable feast to the eye and the taste is more than delicious. Octopus cooked in a variety of ways, calamari usually fried, prawns fried or grilled, variety of oysters depending on the region of Greece you are and what their local produce is, fresh vegetables, giant bean casserole(gigantes), taramosalata, plenty of olives of all kinds… black, green, stuffed with pepper or almonds, different kinds of pickles and of course the very special flat lent bread that is called Lagana, made and sold by the bakeries around the country only on this day.
The meal is also accompanied by a special local delight that is very popular only during the fasting period and it’s called Halvas. For Clean Monday, most of the locals buy Halva from the stores. Halva is made with tahini and the most typical types that locals love are the one that is plain and the other one with almonds. In some areas, though, like in inland Greece they make their own halva that this time is made with semolina or normal flour, olive oil, water and sugar or honey syrup and when ready it is usually sprinkled with cinnamon.
Clean Monday is also the only day that flying kites is top on the list! A great activity that when the weather permits offers joy to families all over Greece.