Cyprus, Nicosia

Green Monday in Cyprus - what is it and how is it celebrated?

Updated: 1 month ago

Green Monday is a religious holiday that is also officially celebrated at the state level.

Зелёный понедельник Кипр

What is Green Monday?

Green Monday is also called Clean Monday. It is the first day of Great Lent before Easter. It is preceded by Maslenitsa and the real feasts of gluttony: Apokries and Tsiknopempti.

What can't you eat on Green Monday?

Since this is the first day of Great Lent, you should exclude everything that is required according to this Christian tradition. Primarily, this means meat, dairy products, and eggs. Also, specifically on Clean Monday, it is suggested not to season food even with oil. On this day, people usually eat vegetables and seafood. However, Cypriots are not so strict about these restrictions, many continue to eat their favorite meat dishes.

How is Green Monday celebrated in Cyprus?

The day begins with a large-scale general cleaning - hence Green Monday is also called Clean. Then everyone goes on a picnic - to grill seafood and vegetables. Remember - no meat, for that there is Tsiknopempti or Smoky Thursday.

Then everyone flies kites. It is believed that they carry away all the sins accumulated over the year into the sky. On this day, the sky may simply be covered with a large number of kites.

What do children do on Green Monday?

In addition to the aforementioned kite flying, children entertain themselves by creating the doll Kyra Sarakosti, which translates as "Lady Lent." She has seven legs, symbolizing the seven weeks of Great Lent, and the doll can be made out of either paper or dough.

This is how Cypriots approach what seems to be a challenging trial in a fun way. Don't forget on this day to greet everyone with the words "Kali Sarakosti" instead of "Kalimera" - it's a wish for a good Lent!

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