Tsiknopempti Explained!

Tsiknopempti Explained!

Greeks do not need much encouragement to eat meat. And neither do we! The tradition of “tsiknopempti” – literally Thursday Grill – is very much alive in Greece in 2019. Here’s everything you need to know about this special day.

When does it take place?

On the Thursday of the second week of Carnival. In 2019, tsiknopempti falls on 28 February.

What is its significance?

Carnival week (“Apokries” in Greece) is an interlude of entertainment and joy. The word “Apokries” which means “far from the meat,” recalls that the carnival period immediately preceding the entry into Lent. The meat is consumed in quantity during the first two weeks of carnival – called Profoni respectively (prelude) and Kreatini (week of meat) – while the third week, the focus is on milk and cheeses (Tirofagou week = cheese).

What we eat that day?

Grilled meat (and lots of it!). In all the houses, barbecues are lit and delicious smells pervade the streets. Tsiknopempti is an opportunity to get together with family or friends to share a meal with meat or grilled sausages.

Kali orexi!

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