Kiria Sarakosti: the calendar counting down 7 weeks until Easter. It is not easy to translate the Greek “Kiria Sarakosti”, but we propose to call her “Lady-Lent” in English! It is an old tradition in Greece and a way to count the weeks from Clean Monday (the end of carnival) until Easter. Click on the photo above to also see her 7 legs!
In most regions in Greece Lady Lent it is just a paper drawing, but in some places she can be made of dough and a lot of salt, so it will preserve better! In any case, it is not meant to be eaten, but to be used as a calendar! Elsewhere in Greece, you also find her made of cloth and filled with feathers.
Its name in Greek recalls the 40 days of fasting beginning on Clean Monday and ending with the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. She has her arms crossed and is praying, and she has no mouth because of the fasting period.
Lady Lent has 7 feet (one for each week of the Lent period. Click on the photo above to also see her feet!). The purpose is to cut a leg at the end of each week, so you can easily count how many weeks are left. The last leg is cut on Easter Saturday and after folding well, placed in the bread of the Resurrection. The person finding the piece in his bread will have good luck.
Although this tradition is now a bit forgotten, many young children draw Lady-Lent in school. They will keep her in their room or in the kitchen of their house, in order to count the weeks till Easter! Easter is a one of the main celebrations in Greece, but also a two-week holiday for all school children!
(for the advanced learners, do not forget to read the article in Greek and build your vocabulary!)
Το ημερολόγιο/ to imerologio = the calendar
Το έθιμο/ to ethimo = the custom
Η νηστεία/ i nistia = fast (to fast = νηστεύω/nistevo)
To πόδι / to podi = the leg
Ζωγραφίζο/ zografizo = to draw
Μετράω/ metrao = to count
Tο Πάσχα / to pascha = Easter
Διακοπές του Πάσχα / diakopes tou pascha = Easter holidays