Clean Monday is a popular annual holiday observed in Greece and Cyprus. The name ‘Clean Monday’ – known locally as ‘Kathará Deftéra – stems from the belief that Christians should approach the fasting season of Lent with clean hearts and pure intentions. Traditionally, Christians also see the Lenten season as a time to clean up their homes, readjust their lives, and commit themselves to a holier and more righteous lifestyle. Like every other day of Lent, Clean Monday is a day of total fasting. Christians are to abstain from eating from midnight to midday and are not allowed to eat meat at all. It stands in stark contrast to the festive mood and binging traditions of the three preceding weeks of the Greek Carnival — ‘Apokries.’
Clean Monday, however, is not only associated with eating fasting products, but features also many traditions being held all over Greece. Traditionally, as Clean Monday is considered to mark the beginning of Spring, flying a kite is also part of the tradition. Young people and adults organize excursions to open areas, so as, winds permitting, to fill the skies with their kites.