Clean Monday is a significant holiday celebrated on the Greek island of Andros. It marks the beginning of Sarakosti, a period of fasting and reflection leading up to Easter. The holiday is also known as Kathara Deftera, which translates to “Pure Monday.” Clean Monday is widely celebrated in Greece and is a time for people to come together to eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company.
On Carnival weekend, local masqueraders walk the streets in fanciful costumes. In many parts of Andros, they hang small and large bells, which make a characteristic noise and are called ‘koudounatoi’.
Clean Monday is not only about feasting and merriment, but also about reflection and spiritual renewal. The day is considered a time to purify the body and mind, and many people fast, abstaining from meat and dairy products. It is believed that this practice helps to purify the soul and prepare one for the spiritual journey of the upcoming Easter season.
Carnivals and masquerades
Locals, men, and women of all ages, from young children to old people, masquerade on the weekend before Clean Monday and go around the neighborhoods, singing and dancing. On Saturday and Sunday, wonderful chariot parades take place in Chora and Gavrio, just like the big chariot parade led by King Carnavalos. During the events, wine and local tsipouro are the main attractions, while delicious food is served in taverns and restaurants.
Clean Monday in Andros – Tradition
On Clean Monday, the streets of Andros come to life as locals gather to celebrate. The day is marked by feasting, dancing, and music-making. People often flock to local tavernas and cafes to enjoy delicious food and drink. You can enjoy traditional dishes like stuffed vine leaves, fresh fish, and sweet treats like loukoumades (honey-dipped doughnuts).
Locals head to the town squares to take part in lively kite-flying competitions. The skies of Andros are filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes, and the competition is fierce. People also gather to dance, sing, and enjoy live music, making Clean Monday a truly unforgettable experience.
The history of Clean Monday dates back to ancient times. The tradition has been passed down from generation to generation. The holiday has deep roots in the Orthodox Christian faith and is an important part of Greek culture. In Andros, Clean Monday is a time to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the island and to reflect on the values and beliefs that are so important to its people.
In conclusion, Clean Monday is a unique and exciting holiday that is celebrated with great enthusiasm on the island of Andros. It is a time to come together with family and friends and enjoy delicious food. Whether you are a local or a visitor, Clean Monday in Andros is an unforgettable experience.