On Monday, 23rd February, the Greek people of Athens will be celebrating ‘Kathari Deftera’, aka Clean Monday, Orthodox Shrove Monday or Ash Monday. It is the first day of Orthodox Christian Great Lent that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Easter Sunday. The public holiday will be a day of great celebrations, delicious food and family traditions.
Greek families usually go out in taverns for sea food eating. Typical foods that can be eaten on the day are olives, shrimp, fish, feta cheese, taramosalata (fish roe dip), dry bread and yigandes (baked bean casserole). Octopus grilled over an open flame is a classic Greek meze to serve with ouzo and wine, and a favourite on Clean Monday. (For the less adventurous, fried calamari is a delicious alternative.)
Because Clean Monday is also considered to mark the first day of spring, Greeks tend to celebrate it with outdoor activities. A favourite place to hang out is Filopappos Hill where you will see many a Greek family, young and old, picnicking and flying kites! The hill is situated just opposite the Acropolis and even if you don’t have a kite, the hill offers the most amazing, uninterrupted view of the Acropolis and beyond to Pireaus, Aegina and other neighbouring islands (but the kite is highly recommended).
So don’t freak out if you happen to see picnic baskets minus the meat, you are still amongst Greeks, wine and ouzo will warm your hearts as will the live music provided by the municipality of Athens.
AthenStyle Hostel, the best hostel in Athens, suggests:
Next week from the 19th until the 25th of February the International Music Documentary Film Festival, will be presented in city of Athens!
Great musicians, powerful stories and unforgettable tunes will meet at IN-EDIT GREECE 2015 – Athens Edition. For a week «ODEON OPERA» cinema, will host the most significant music documentaries of the last years.
The festival will open (on the 19th of February) with the premiere screening, in Greece, of the documentary “Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender” which depicts
Freddie Mercury’s solo journey, without Queen, from 1985 until his death in 1991. There will be more screenings, among others, the “lost” documentary made by the Doors for the Doors: “Doors (Feast of Friends)”.
The rest of the documentaries along with full program of the screenings (timetable) is available on the official web site of the festival www.in-edit.gr.
Book your stay at AthenStyle hostel and enjoy this opportunity that Athens offers you!
It’s still festive season here in Greece, so there are many things happening in the city of Athens! The next weekend is the last couple of days of the carnival season so you have many fun things to do if you are here!
On Friday the 20th, at 19:00 there’s a Carnival on Patissia area, which is very close to our hostel. There will be groups parading in costumes and greek traditional instruments .
On Saturday the 21th at 13:30 in Monastiraki square there will be a carnival concert. Later at 20:00 at Eleytherias Park, there will be a concert from Athens’s Philharmonic in which they will perform Greek serenades and songs from Greek operettas.
On Sunday the 22nd at 21:00 in Plaka area there be big a parade of people dressed in costumes in the historical center of Athens.
If you happen to be in Athens on 12th February for Tsiknopemti, you have the chance to have lots of fun ! If you are a meat eater, we suggest becoming friends with the first Greek family you find on the street and hope for an invitation because it will be a day you won’t forget in a hurry, neither will your stomach.
Traditionally, Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of the week prior to the arrival of Lent, during which large amounts of meat are consumed before the fasting season begins. Not exactly known for their subtle ways, the Greeks will try to outdo and out-smell their next door neighbors in an all-you-can-eat meat-feast in an attempt to steer themselves away from meat for the next 40 days (traditionally). If you are not a traditionalist or religious, then you can enjoy leftovers the next day – if there are any of course and if you have not offended your adopted Greek family by refusing to try every course.
Whilst it used to be customary for everyone to charcoal meat and melt fat over it so the smell of burning meat choked whole villages, nowadays it is acceptable to go to a tavern for a meat feast. So if you are not successful in scoring an invitation to a local’s house, head on over to a Greek tavern and enjoy some meat and some live music and enjoy the whole ‘piatela’ (platter) as the Greeks say.
During that day there are many happenings in the center of Athens, in Plaka, which is a 5 minute walk from our hostel. Starting at 12 from Kotzia Square the Athen’s City Philharmonic will march towards Monastiraki Square and at the same time the Greek music band called ‘’Leyteris Grigoriou & Global Daoulia’’ will play at Monastiraki Square folk Greek music instruments. At 19:00 at the Monastiraki Metro Station there will be a latin band playing and at 21:00 there will be a costume parade in Plaka !
Book your stay at AthenStyle to enjoy one of the most delicious Greek traditions!
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Are you going to be in Athens on the 22nd of February? Why don’t you join the best trip into a crazy day of partying and dancing with thousands of people!
Time for Patras Carnival, the best carnival in Greece!
Come stay at AthenStyle hostel and leave in the morning to join this amazing trip!
Live the Carnival in the Greek way!
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