Greek villagers on Monday marked the end of the carnival season with the traditional “flour war”. Visitors from across Greece and all over the world descended upon the fishing town of Galaxidi to participate.
People indulge in the tradition of “flour war” on Clean Monday, also called Ash Monday in some parts of the world. Clean Monday signifies the beginning of the Greek orthodox Lent Period.
During this “flour war”, combatants use bags of baking flour tinted with food colouring as “bombs” with which they “hit” each other.
The tradition of the “flour war” reportedly began in 1801 as a symbol of resistance to the Ottoman Empire which ruled Greece at the time and forbade carnivals.
The tradition, according to some citizens of Greece, helps lift their spirits these days with the country facing an ongoing economic crisis. A participant named Efi told Reuters, “It’s an outburst. You let off steam. What else to do? If you are feeling downcast in Athens, the villages, anywhere with this (economic) crisis, you come here and let off the steam.”