On Monday 27th of February we celebrate ‘Green Monday’ (Kathara Deftera) in Cyprus. A public holiday which is the first Monday of Lent and marks the beginning of this period, seven weeks before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
This is an extremely important day in Cyprus and is celebrated throughout the island, as families gather together, usually outside, to enjoy a delicious feast. As eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden during Lent, it is commonplace to eat shellfish and seafood on this day. A special type of bread called ‘Lagana’ which is similar to focaccia, is also only baked at this time of year and is eaten on Green Monday, along with taramas, tahini, hummus, vegetables and olives.
In addition, kite flying is also an integral part of the day’s traditions, which marks the start of Spring. On Green Monday, the skies across Cyprus are littered with colourful kites, as locals take to the countryside, beaches and mountains to join in with this fun activity.
Green Monday is certainly one of the most celebrated days in Cyprus, and wherever you are on the island, there will be plenty of festivities to get involved in.