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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Greece Series at GreekPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Greek holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 8- “Clean Monday”. In Greek, it's called [Καθαρά Δευτέρα].
Clean Monday is a particularly popular celebration. It is called [Καθαρά], meaning "Clean", because the holiday marks the end of the frenzied celebrations of the Triodion, while also being the first day of Lent, a period of fasting that "cleanses" Christians both physically and spiritually. Clean Monday is a public holiday, so families take the opportunity to gather and celebrate the beginning of Lent together.
In this lesson, you will learn the customs of Clean Monday in Greece.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
There is a third reason why this holiday is called [Καθαρά], meaning "Clean", that we have not yet mentioned. Do you know what that reason is?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
For most people, Clean Monday means heading out to the countryside. This excursion often involves flying a kite, playing traditional music, and enjoying a feast of fasting foods such as [λαγάνα], a type of bread, [ταραμάς] which is salted and cured cod roe, halva, bean soup and squid. The bread called [λαγάνα] is a type of flat, unleavened bread sprinkled with sesame seeds. The customs of this Clean Monday outing are called "[κούλουμα]".
In many areas of Greece, [κούλουμα] are celebrated in different ways. For example, in the area [Γαλαξίδι], Clean Monday is anything but "clean". In this town, the famous "flour fights" or [αλευρομουτζουρώματα] take place starting from noon. These fights involve hundreds of residents and visitors gathering at the harbor, where they playfully go to war, throwing flour, soot, and indigo at each other until dusk. This custom is quite fun, as long as the necessary precautions are taken. If you ever get the chance to participate in the event, be sure to wear protective goggles, a mask, and suitable clothing.
Many traditions upheld on this day relate to the concept of marriage. “Koutroúli’s wedding", or [του Κουτρούλη ο Γάμος], takes place in [Μεθώνη], and is a satirical event based on a historical marriage from the 14th century. In Thebes, there is also the "Vlach wedding" or [βλάχικος γάμος]. This tradition starts on Fat Thursday, and ends on the final day of Carnival, culminating with the shaving of the groom and the dressing of the bride, who is actually a man!
Generally, all over Greece, many municipalities provide free lagana bread, bean soup, halva and olives, just like the municipality of Athens does every year on the hill of [Φιλοπάππου] and in the park called [άλσος Βεΐκου]. The offering of free food during the festivities of Clean Monday attracts a large number of people each year, but also results in long lines and renders food supplies insufficient, making food stands unable to cater to all those attending.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
There is a third reason why this holiday is called [Καθαρά], meaning "Clean", that I have not yet mentioned. Do you know what that reason is?
As we mentioned before, the holiday earned its title by marking both the end of the Triodion period, and the beginning of the cleansing period of Lent. A third reason it is called Clean Monday is because in the olden days, housewives would wash their cooking utensils all day long after the feast of the carnival.
How did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have any events in your country that are similar to Clean Monday in Greece?
Leave us your comments on GreekPod101.com, and we'll see you in the next lesson.

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

GreekPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Do you have a day like this in your country?

GreekPod101.com Verified
Friday at 05:10 AM
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Hi Elisabeth,


Oh, now I get it! Maybe it's because it comes right after the Carnival (crazy partying) season, marking the beginning of the Lent period. Thanks for the explanation!


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Elisabeth
Wednesday at 03:18 PM
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I’ not sure, but it has become an expression that means the day after a party, or landing on the everyday life after something awesome. “The morning after” 😁

GreekPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 02:25 AM
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Hi Elisabeth,


That's interesting! Why is it called "blue"?


Stefania

Team GreekPod101.com

Elisabeth
Tuesday at 04:00 PM
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The first Monday of Lent we call Blue Monday.