Believers celebrate Ash Monday in GreecePolitics Thessaloniki, Greece - 27 February 2012
Clean Monday , also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian and Eastern Catholic Great Lent. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.
Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food, a special kind of azyme bread, baked only on that day, named "lagana" and the widespread custom of flying kites.
People on Clean Monday usually take their picnic baskets and put inside fasting foods because it is the day that Lent begins.
Pictures taken on February 27, 2012.