Preparing for Clean Monday, which stores will be open on the official holiday

On March 7, Greece will celebrate the Orthodox holiday “Clean Monday”. This is the first day of the forty-day Great Lent before Easter.

In Greece, this day is called Kafara Deftera – Clean Monday, which is an official holiday.

Certain stores will be open on this day to allow consumers to shop for Lent, while supermarkets will remain closed.

Fish shops, bakeries, mini-markets, as well as public markets (likes) will work so that the inhabitants of the country can purchase everything they need for the “lenten table”. Bakeries will traditionally supply consumers with Lagan bread.

This is a flat cake made in the traditional way from a simple dough with flour and water in memory of the “manna from heaven” sent by the Lord to feed the Israelites during the Exodus from Egypt. The use of lean unleavened bread applies to the entire period preceding Easter. Until the day when Christ blesses ordinary yeast bread.

“Treat for the Poor”
The history of the lagana has continued from antiquity to the present day. Aristophanes in Ecclesiastes said that “Lagana soars” (“Λαγάνα πέττεται”), and Horace in his texts called Lagana “a treat for the poor.” The tradition has remained unchanged for centuries. Lagana, said to be baked “with love” by local bakers, has a crispy crust and is topped with sesame seeds.

On Clean Monday, according to tradition, families with children usually go out into nature – to parks, on the coast, in the forest, have picnics and fly kites.

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