There is no better day to enjoy the magnificent mountains blooming in the spring and glistering seaside landscapes of Cyprus than Green Monday. Pack a lunch and venture out into nature for Cyprus’ dedicated outdoors picnic day!
In Orthodox religion the preparations for Easter Sunday begin well before April, on “Kathara Deftera” or Green Monday, when one traditionally begins the 40 day long fasting period. As Green Monday is a public holiday, it’s an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to escape the confines of city life and venture into the blooming valleys and green hills or tranquil beaches of Cyprus. Traditionally, Cypriots will prepare a delicious picnic meal to enjoy with the beautiful view of the many public picnic spaces in the island and children will fly colourful kites on the spring breeze.
One might think that as the beginning of the fasting season, there won’t be many delicacies to enjoy on this day, but you would be wrong! A traditional Green Monday picnic includes dishes with shellfish, fresh vegetables, potato salad and Taramas which is a meze spread made from the salted cured cod roe mixed with olive oil and lemon juice. However the star of the Clean Monday picnic is “Lagana” a special, azyme bread, knead with herbs and topped with roasted sesame, specifically baked only on the day. Green Monday is the perfect chance for nature lovers to get their fill of fresh air and the idyllic scenery of Cyprus’ mountains.
If you’re visiting during this time but don’t have the chance to make your own picnic, no need to panic! Most municipalities in Cyprus have public feasts on the day where visitors can enjoy free traditional food, games and music in the name of our famous Mediterranean hospitality.