Happy Tsiknopempti!

16.02.2012

souvlaki crop for blog

Today is ‘Tsiknopempti’ (tsik-no-pemp-tee) or charred Thursday for a very loose translation.  If you are a vegetarian you may want to stay home with the
windows closed as today in Greece we BBQ meat.  A lot of meat.  From every home, workplace and even school the aroma of sizzling meat will be all pervasive
and tantalising.  Not only will you find meat cooking everywhere, it will come with a party atmosphere of music and dancing (well we are in Greece!).

Tsiknopempti is part of the Greek Orthodox calendar and is an important part of the pre-lent preparations, a pragmatic solution to using up all the meat
in your possession before the 40 day period of Lent begins.  This pre-Lent period is called ‘Apokries’ (Apo-kree-es) which comes from the Greek words
‘Apohi apo Kreas’ ‘abstinence from meat’.  This is the carnival period in Greece and the word ‘carnival’ also has the same meaning in its Latin roots -
‘Carne’- meat ‘vale’- goodbye.  This carnival period runs for the 3 weeks directly preceding lent.  In 2014 the first day is Sunday 9th February and we
we go onto Sunday 2nd March, which is usually the day of the carnival parades all over Greece, but famously in Patra on the mainland and in Rethymnon
in Crete.

The end of ‘Apokries’ is followed by ‘Kathara Deftera’ or ‘Clean Monday’ which marks the beginning of lent.  Only shellfish and food prepared without oil are consumed. picnic style out in the countryside.  But thats another story – or another blog post at least!

Kales Apokries!

 

Souvlaki photo courtesy of PANPOTE

28   Comments
  • Tracy says:

    My son came home from the school bbq with a black face today. Bet if you pop into Klik tonight you’ll come out a different colour than you went in!

  • elizabeth says:

    You too, Chris?! Cant see through the smoke here!

  • Tracy Hendry-Moustaki says:

    You forgot to mention that we all get our faces blackened today by having charcoal dust rubbed on them. Not sure it’s good for the skin but good fun!!

  • Chris says:

    mmm smell like bbq

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