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Greeks mark start of Lent with traditional parade

Residents of the Greek mountain town of Sochos, northeast of Thessaloniki, celebrated the beginning of Lent on Monday with a carnival and procession dating back to ancient times.

Known locally as 'Clean Monday', the festivities mark the end of the carnival season and the beginning of the 40-day Lent period.

Men are helped into tall ribbon-covered masks topped with a foxtail, and colourful costumes including animal hides.

With bells around their waists, they hold a procession through the streets, then gather to dance in the town's main square.