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Ukraine's citizens play water games on Clean Monday

The citizens of Lviv, western Ukraine took to the streets to play water games on the occasion of Clean Monday, which falls on May 2nd annually.

People spray water on one another as they celebrate Clean Monday in Lviv, western Ukraine. Pic/AFP
People spray water on one another as they celebrate Clean Monday in Lviv, western Ukraine. Pic/AFP

Clean Monday is a Ukrainian Christian tradition celebrated on the first day after Orthodox Easter. It is also known as Wet Monday in the country.

The occasion is known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday and is the first day of Great Lent in the Eastern Orthodox Christian, Saint Thomas Christians of India and Eastern Catholic churches.

Clean Monday is a moveable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday.

The day derives its name from the practice of leaving behind of sinful attitudes and non-fasting foods and is a public holiday in Greece and Cyprus, where it is celebrated with outdoor excursions, the consumption of shellfish and other fasting food. and the widespread custom of flying kites. Eating meat, eggs and dairy products is traditionally forbidden to Orthodox Christians throughout Lent, with fish being eaten only on major feast days, but shellfish is permitted in European denominations. This has created the tradition of eating elaborate dishes based on seafood.

Clean Monday is considered to mark the beginning of the spring season, a notion which was used symbolically in Ivan Bunin's critically acclaimed story, Pure Monday.

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