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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-10

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] 'Action for Parnitha'
  • [02] Clean Monday in Greece

  • [01] 'Action for Parnitha'

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga spent Clean Monday in a symbolic place, Parnitha, which was affected by last year‚s devastating wildfires.

    She was taking part in an event organised by the party‚s KNE Attica Organisation youth group, within the framework of "Action for Parnitha".

    Prevailing at the event were traditional Clean Monday food and popular music, at the same time giving the message of ecology and the protection of the environment.

    In statements, Papariga stressed that "when one is in this area, one of course remembers ill-fated Parnitha, one remembers the crime which has taken place all over Greece."

    She added that "at the same time, I at least, think about the rights of the working people, to have free time for recreation and at the same time to be in a good economic situation. Because free time requires money. Today, the working people neither have free time nor money. They feel insecurity and despair for the future."

    Concluding, she said that "the only hope is for new permanent centres of resistance to be created, so that a great tide to be created which will overturn everything. We are moving in this direction."

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga.

    [02] Clean Monday in Greece

    The first day of Lent is known as Clean Monday (Kathari Theftera). It is called "clean" because it marks the start of the lenten period during which our bodies and spirits are "cleansed" to prepare for accepting the Resurrection.

    Clean Monday is a public holiday in Greece, a day of great celebration and traditions. Families take to the beach or countryside for picnics and kite-flying. Children make "Kyra Sarakosti," (Lady Lent), a paper doll with seven legs to represent the seven weeks of Lent. Every week, a leg is cut off to show how many weeks remain until Easter.

    Foods during the seven weeks of Lent are fixed according to lenten restrictions.

    This generally (there are a few exceptions) means no meat or fish (nothing with red blood) and nothing derived from animals with red blood (no milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc.). However, Clean Monday has its own traditions, and all over Greece, tables will be laid (and restaurants stocked) with dishes that have been customary for generations.

    Here's a suggested menu:

    - Lagana:

    A lightly leavened bread eaten only on Clean Monday.

    - Taramosalata: Fish Roe Dip.

    Tarama (cod or carp roe) is sometimes called "the common man's caviar." Combined with olive oil and bread, it makes one of the tastiest and most famous of all Greek dips.

    - Maroulosalata: Cos (Romaine) Lettuce Salad

    Fresh, crisp greens with a light vinegar and oil dressing.

    - Yigandes Plaki: Baked Bean Casserole

    Yigandes are similar to giant dried lima beans, and this oven-to-table casserole combines them with tomatoes, onions, herbs, and spices to create a fabulous dish.

    - Htapothi sti Skhara: Grilled Octopus

    Octopus grilled over an open flame is a classic Greek meze to serve with ouzo and wine, and a favorite on Clean Monday. (For the less adventurous, fried calamari is a delicious alternative.)

    - Garides: Greek-Style Boiled Shrimp

    Boiled shrimp with a delicious oil and lemon sauce.

    - Halvas: Semolina Pudding

    Halvas can be made in many different ways, and this version is made with honey, nuts, raisins, and the tastes of cinnamon and cloves, for a wonderful dessert.

    Complete the table with Greek olives and fresh fruit.

    And to drink? Ouzo.

    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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