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Flour wars

'Clean Monday' marks the end of Carnival and the start of Lent, the 40 day period of abstinence leading up to Easter. The people of Galaxidi, about 220km west of Athens, mark the occasion with a flour-throwing festival, a tradition that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. The aim is to cover everyone and everything in coloured flour. Many wear masks and overalls to protect their faces and clothing. Other rituals, such as jumping over fire, have also found their way into the celebrations.

This story was awarded a prize in the Arts and Entertainment section of the World Press Photo contest for 2005.
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