About Clean Monday (Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Green Monday, Monday of Lent)
Clean Monday is the first day of Great Lent in Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox beliefs and cultures. It falls on the Monday of the seventh Monday before Easter Sunday, which is 2 days before Ash Wednesday, a Western Christian Holiday. The date of Clean Monday can be different within the Eastern Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox as the date is calculated differently among the Orthodox faith.
Clean Monday begins Sunday night, typically with a special service where all who are present will ask for forgiveness in order to start the 40 day period of the Great Lent with a clean conscience. It is a time for Christians to leave behind sinful behaviors, especially after the Carnival festivities, and renew their Christianity.
How is Clean Monday Observed?
Clean Monday is a day of to eat traditionally forbidden foods to Orthodox Christians such as shellfish, mollusks and to enjoy elaborate seafood dishes. It marks the beginning of the 40 day period of fasting for Great Lent that is the period between Carnival and Easter.
It is also a time that marks the beginning of the spring season where getting outdoors for family activities is traditional in the cultures who celebrate this day.