Today we celebrate Kathara Deftera or "Clean Monday" in Greece, the day on which Carnaval ends and Lent starts. It is the start of what is called "Sarakosti": a 40 day period of fasting until the week of Easter. And since it will be a difficult time for those who will join the fasting, what better way to start these 40 days than with a feast?
All over Greece you will see people gather together (mostly outdoors) to have a nice meal together and fly their kites, the symbol for the Spring that is just around the corner.
During Sarakosti, meat, fish, eggs or dairy food are not allowed on the menu. Instead, the Lenten menu consists of vegetables, nuts and seafood, like kalamari, octopus, shrimps, oysters and other shellfish.
On Kathara Deftera, a special bread called Lagana is eaten together with tarama (fish roe salad) and of course we all enjoy the local ouzo, tsipouro and souma.
On Samos we also make "revithokeftedes" (chickpea-balls) and today we were lucky enough to have sea urchin eggs as well. Of course, a Greek feast is not complete without some traditional music and dancing! Even though the weather was not very spring-like, we had a great day, enjoying all homemade food and nice company. Kali Sarakosti!