submitted by Kytherian Religious Consciousness on 31.01.2015
The tradition of Apokries started so that the Christian people could celebrate and indulge before the great 40 day Lenten period of Easter. It lasts for three weeks before the period of fasting begins.
Apokries, is usually celebrated in February. It depends on when the Orthodox Easter falls.
Each part of Greece has its own customs and traditions during, Apokries. The most famous is the Big Carnival of Patra. People dress in masquerade, play games and jokes, have a huge parade, and throw sweets to the crowds. Elsewhere, plays are put on in the streets. People are dressed in costumes with masks (Maskarathes) depending on the local traditions, and play jokes on the pedestrians. This takes place only at night.
Local children and adults knock on the doors of the houses in the neighbourhood and the homeowners try to guess who they are. Home-made sweets are usually offered to the ‘Maskarathes’(a bit like Halloween)
The Psihosavata are the last two Saturdays of Apokries and the first Saturday of the Great Lent. The Psihosavata, which means the ‘Saturdays for the souls’ are the days that Orthodox Christians remember their dead.
After the last Sunday of Apokries, is the first day of lent when the proper fast begins (no meat or dairy products). The day is called “Kathari Deftera" which literally means "Clean Monday".
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