This post was most recently updated on December 13th, 2020
Green Monday is a public holiday in Cyprus, which is observed as the first day of Great Lent by Orthodox Christians, and it falls on the 7th Monday before easter. It’s a moveable holiday, which means it doesn’t always fall on the same day. It always a different date in a different year.
Don’t get confused if you hear people say, “Clean Monday, Pure Monday, Ash Monday, or Monday of Lent” instead of Green Monday. They are all the same. Different people name it differently. The majority of the people call it Green Monday or Clean Monday.
It’s a public holiday celebrated mainly in Cyprus and Greece as the majority of orthodox Christians live here. Today in this article, we will learn about everything that is to know about Green Monday.
What is Great Lent?
Great Lent is simply called the Great Fast. It runs for 40 continuous days till easter. It’s not like other fasts where you don’t eat anything except water; this fast is kinda different.
Cypriots Christians don’t eat meat, eggs, and dairy products for 40 days. They also don’t drink wine and cook on oil on certain days during the fasting. They refrain from worldly entertainment. This is to make their body healthy and make their mind pure.
Great Lent officially begins on Clean Monday and ends on Friday of the sixth week.
What do people do on Green Monday?
As Green Monday is a public holiday, people celebrate it outdoors, usually in fields, parks, or beaches. As the Great Lent starts from Green Monday, people only eat fasting food.
Some of the food they eat on Green Monday are Vegetables, Fruits, Olives, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Beetroots, Coriander, and a special type of sesame bread, “Lagana.”
It’s like a picnic but without meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
People spend their whole day outdoors, singing, dancing, and eating food. They fly kites, play traditional games, and socialize with others.
Flying a kite is an age-old tradition associated with festivals both in Cyprus and across the world. But in addition to being a simple form of entertainment for all ages, flying kites also has a symbolic meaning in keeping with the start of Lent.
As the kite is free and flies higher, Christians compare their traditions with the kite.
Clean Monday in Cyprus and Old Testament
The theme of Clean Monday is set by the Old Testament, which goes as:
“Wash yourselves, and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before Mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they be red like crimson, I will make them white as wool.”
This simply means, when you become clean from outside and inside, help others who are in pain, Lord will help you make your life better.
Green Monday in Cyprus Dates
The following are the upcoming days for Green Monday Holidays.
|2021||15 March||Monday||Green Monday|
|2022||7 March||Monday||Green Monday|
|2023||27 February||Monday||Green Monday|
|2024||18 March||Monday||Green Monday|
|2025||3 March||Monday||Green Monday|
People Celebrating Green Monday
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