A Greek custom that has almost been lost is that of Kira Sarakosti, Lady Lent. This is a custom associated with the celebration of Easter that nowadays has almost disappeared, while formerly you could find it throughout Greece with different variations, as Kira Sarakosti was used as a calendar that counted the weeks of Lent.
Kira Sarakosti, is a small figure, a paper drawing or sometimes baked of bread dough, which features something really unusual: a lady that looks like a nun who has seven legs and her hands are folded as if in prayer. Lady Lent’s seven legs each represent one week of the fasting period, from Clean Monday to the Holy Week. There is a cross on her forehead representing her religious beliefs and she has no mouth, indicating that she can’t eat because she is fasting.
Lady Lent was used as a calendar of Lent all over Greece in the older days, and each week, starting on Saturday (after Clean Monday) Greeks used to cut one leg off. The last leg was cut on Holy Saturday. This leg, this small piece of paper, was folded well and hid within a dried fig or walnut (in the region of Chios), which was placed along with other fruits. Whoever found it was considered lucky (gourlis). In some areas, the seventh leg was squeezed inside the bread of Resurrection, and was considered to bring luck to whoever found it.
Are there any old, dying customs that you still remember?
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- Easter Candles – A Tradition for Children and their God Parents
- Why is Greek Easter different to Aussie Easter?
- Make This Thursday a Smelly One – Celebrate the Greek Tradition of Tsiknopempti
Ioanna Aggelidaki is the Social Media Manager and Contributor of the Greek Weddings and Traditions Blog.
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