Kyra Sarakosti and Clean Monday

cookieFor Western Christianity, Lent is already underway, but in the Orthodox tradition, it starts today, with Clean Monday, or Shrove Monday. While both Lenten traditions last 40 days, in the Eastern tradition Sundays are not counted, so the total time of Lent is 50 days.

Lent is a season for spiritual cleansing. Clean Monday is a day for fasting from midnight to noon. Meat is not eaten at all; instead there is traditional food like octopus and shrimp, and outdoor activities like kite flying.  In some places this is regarded as the beginning of spring.

To keep track of the weeks, children make a Kyra Sarakosti or Lady Lent calendar or cookie, with 7 feet or 7 shoes.  Kyra Sarakosti does not have a mouth, since she is fasting.  Her arms are crossed. Each Saturday, another foot is cut off, until the last Saturday, when the last foot is hidden in some other food and the person who gets it is considered lucky.

Here is Kyra Sarakosti, images for coloring are below the fold.




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