Kyra Sarakosti or Mrs. Lent (Fasting and Greek Great Lent)

Kyra Sarakosti or Mrs. LentKyra Sarakosti or Mrs. LentKyra Sarakosti or Mrs. Lent
Ash Monday (or Clean Monday) is the end of the Carnival and marks the start of the Lent and 49 days of fasting although nowadays few people strictly fast for the whole of Lent. Greek Orthodox fasting excludes meat, fish (but not shellfish), dairy products and eggs. More or less it’s a vegan diet which is very salutary for the health.

Ash Monday’s menu

Ash Monday’s menu

One of the customs of Ash Monday is Kyra Sarakosti (Mrs. Lent). Kyra Sarakosti functioned as a makeshift calendar which was helping people to count the weeks have been going on Clean Monday until Holy Week. Usually, it was the painting of a woman with a scarf on the head, seven legs, arms folded -because she is praying-, and no mouth, because of fasting throughout this period. Every Saturday, starting Saturday which followed after Ash Monday, “Mrs. Lent” loses a leg. Besides paper, the lady-Lent can also be made of fabric but also of dough.

Here we will give a nice recipe to prepare this beautiful dough doll with flour and salt. Salt is a natural preservative and make the dough doll last for all this long period. Of course it is not edible!

Kyra Sarakosti made of dough

Kyra Sarakosti made of dough


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup fine salt
  • 1 cup water
  • spices such as cloves for decoration


Put all the ingredients for the dough in a cuvette and knead until smooth, good dough.

Shape Kyra Sarakosti with the dough making the body, the skirt, the face and the legs. Decorate as desired and place it in a baking pan which is paved with parchment paper.

Bake in preheated oven at 160 degrees Celsius (or 320 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20-30 minutes. The purpose is to dry the dough, not to bake it.

Break one leg every Saturday! After the last breaking leg it is Easter Sunday! 🙂

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