Picnics with seafood and Lenten dishes, excursions to the countryside and islands as well as traditional kite-flying were again ubiquitous throughout Greece on Monday, as the country marked the religious holiday of Clean Monday (Shrove Monday), the commencement of Great Lent on the Eastern Orthodox calendar.

The beginning of Lent ahead of Easter, known as “Koulouma” in the modern Greek vernacular, and the end of the carnival season in the east Mediterranean country a day earlier, called “Apokries”, witnessed urban dwellers head to the provinces, the islands or one of the heights in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities for picnics and kite-flying.

The Hill of Filoppapou (Philopappou) across from the southwest side of the Acropolis again attracted thousands of local residents, with the Athens municipality organizing a series of cultural events.

Other popular sites for a visit on Clean Monday in the greater Athens-Piraeus area were the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center near the coast and the Freattida pier in the latter port city.

The Seih Sou Park overlooking Thessaloniki was the focal point for gatherings in the northern Greece city.

On his part, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis posted a photograph on his Instagram account showing him and his daughter on a biking trail, a day after he returned from Cairo, where he attended an Egypt-EU summit.
He also wished citizens a happy Lent.