Now that the Christmas and New Year holidays have passed, it’s time to start planning for your Spring break holiday in Greece. Spring is a fabulous time in Greece, and the lent season brings all sorts of activities for visitors to enjoy. One of my favorites is the annual ascent to Philopappou Hill: Athenians of all ages, families, groups of friends, head to the hill with kites and baskets full of picnic goodies. (As the photo gallery shows below, Athenians find other places to fly their kites, including the Square in front of the Old Olympic Stadium, but my favorite is still Philopappou Hill.
On Monday March 5, 2012, Clean Monday or Kathera Deftera, on Phillopappou Hill – from 11 AM until 3 PM, the city of Athens usually hosts its annual Clean Monday celebration featuring traditional music and Greek dancing. The city doesn’t announce the actual plans until a few weeks prior, but I’m guessing it will be as its been in previous years. No matter, whether or not there is a city sponsored activity, there will be plenty of people out enjoying “Clean Monday”, the official start of Greek Orthodox lent.
The area just beyond the Acropolis, accessed via cobblestone paths across from the Acropolis parking area, comes alive with activity on this day and if you are in the process of planning your Greek vacation in the spring, I’d add this as a must-do if you are looking for a chance to experience a special day in Greece.
I’ll keep true-athens.com up to date on any official announcements the city of Athens makes for their plans for Kathera Deftera / Clean Monday on Philopappou Hill. But regardless of whether they sponsor the dancing and music, you can be assured that the Greek people will be there with their own music and somewhere on the hill someone will spontaneously break out in dance or song (in true Greek form!).
Of course the real star of the day will be the “kite” – hopefully scheduled to appear in the skies above the Acropolis.