Shrove Monday symbolizes purity or chastity, if you prefer, as it is the first day of Lent, that is, the great fast of Easter that lasts 40 days as much as the fasting days of Christ in the desert.
The celebration of Shrove Monday in the countryside is also known as "Kouluma".
Although as we said on Shrove Monday Lent (or Lent) begins and the great fast of Easter, the menu of the day is anything but poor.
First and best the λαγάνα, which is a type of unleavened bread made without yeast or yeast. In fact, it has a characteristic wide shape for easy baking.
At the table on Holy Monday there is of course the favorite (and very healthy) sesame halva, preserved fish roe, olives, vegetables of all kinds and pickles of all kinds.
The fanatics usually throw it in the seafood (squid, octopuses, cuttlefish, etc.), but also shellfish (mussels, oysters, etc.), while the most traditional ones prefer our national food, ie a delicious bean soup.
… But what is its history? What does it symbolize?
The lagana is made without yeast, and such a loaf of bread was used by the Israelites on the night of their Exodus from Egypt under the leadership of Moses.
From then on it was imposed by the Mosaic Law for all the days of the Passover feast, until Christ at the last Passover blessed the enzyme bread.
The history of lagana runs through the entire nutritional tradition from antiquity to the present day. Aristophanes in "Ekklisiazouses" says "Lagana is thrown", ie "Laganes are made". And Horace in his texts mentions lagana as "The sweetness of the poor".
The custom of lagana has remained unchanged over the centuries and is usually prepared with taste by the neighborhood baker, crunchy and sesame seeds and is consumed on Shrove Monday, the first Monday of Lent.
The name "Clean" came from the habit of housewives in the morning of this day, to wash with hot water and ashes all the kitchen utensils, as a "cleaning day". Then they hung them in their place where they remained until the end of the fast. Also on this day, everyone went out to the countryside as a family and lay down on the ground and ate fasting foods such as halva, olives, tarama and lagana.
From Holy Monday, man is prepared after the feasts and the gluttony of Carnival, to purify his soul and body to reach the end, that is, at Easter and to be resurrected again with the Resurrection of the Lord. A typical example is the lagana that has the shape of "kyra-Lent", which represents a tall woman who has a cross on her head, has no mouth because she is all fasting.
Her arms are crossed for prayers, she has seven legs that symbolize the seven weeks of fasting. It was customary to count the time during the period of Lent was to cut off one leg every Saturday and the last one was cut on Holy Saturday where they hid it in a dried fig or a walnut and whoever found it was the lucky one of the next year.
The delicious and delicious lagana for all of us is a product worthy of respect and with a truly rich history, it will be a great loss for future generations to forget our traditions, to forget the old Lent scents. The bakers of the neighborhood, faithful to our traditions, prepare lagana on Shrove Monday, thus contributing to the preservation of the custom, so that the new generations have the opportunity to hear, smell and taste Lent because the Lent smells are indirect carriers of a deep spirit.
AND OF COURSE THE KITE!
To be precise, it symbolizes the flight of the human soul to the Divine.
In other words, he means that the destination of the human spirit is in heaven next to its creator.
The fact that the custom takes place every year on Shrove Monday is anything but accidental.
Shrove Monday is the first day of Lent where Christians begin their physical and spiritual purification through the great fast of Easter.
Thus, with fasting we purify our body and soul and with the flying of the kite we come even conceivably closer to God.
Today, however, it has developed into a nice and fun game for young and old, when for one day even the sky is filled with colorful and fancy constructions.