Cheese Sunday

Cheese Sunday

Between February 8 and 28; Sunday before Lent
The week before Orthodox Christian Lent is known as Cheese or Dairy Week—especially in regions of Greece and Macedonia—because it is the last opportunity for people to eat dairy products. It is usually characterized by dancing, masquerading, and generally uninhibited behavior. At sunset on the final Sunday, people attend an evening church service during which the priest and congregation exchange mutual forgiveness for their sins. The last dish eaten on Cheese Sunday, or Cheesefare Sunday, is usually eggs.
Following custom, the last egg left over from the meal may be hung from a string in the middle of the ceiling. People sitting around the table hit it with their foreheads to get it swinging and then try to catch it in their mouths. Another variation of this game is to have someone hold a stick with an egg swinging from a string or thread on the end. People sit in a circle with their mouths open, trying to catch it. The popular saying, "With an egg I close my mouth, with an egg I shall open it again," refers to the hard-boiled Easter eggs that will mark the end of the Lenten fast.
In the Orthodox Church, the second Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent is called Meat Fare Sunday because it is traditionally the last day on which meat may be eaten until Easter.
SOURCES:
BkFestHolWrld-1970, p. 35
EncyEaster-2002, p. 58
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 126
OxYear-1999, p. 641
References in periodicals archive ?
Cheese Sunday afternoon at the Mall at Whitney Field.