It’s that time of year again folks; Tsiknopempti is once again in our midst and with that, the carnival celebrations have finally begun. February is the month of ever-lasting festivities while many of Greece’s major cities pull out all the stops for the special celebrations.
Tsiknopempti, otherwise known as barbecue Thursday was the name given to this day influenced by the lingering scent of char grilled meat in the air. Greeks are known for their love of people and their sentiment to cook for others; they have a tendency to overuse three main ingredients, olive oil, oregano and MEAT. Barbeque Thursday gives the Greeks as well as those travelling far and wide an even greater excuse to indulge, and as for those that simply don’t eat meat, well, as Aunt Voula from My Big Fat Greek Wedding would say, “What do you mean he don’t eat no meat? That’s ok, I make lamb.”
Tsiknompemti is celebrated 11 days before Ash Monday which marks the beginning of Lent or as we all know it, the fasting season which doesn’t permit the consumption of meat. This one day allows our nation to once again become primitive beings by eating as much meat as humanly possible before having to give it up.
Meat by day and party by night, it’s the best of both worlds! Bars and clubs open during the early afternoon where people are encouraged to show off by dressing up in their best costumes. We’ve seen it all; clowns, zombies, doctors, and even superheroes take to the streets. It’s not just your ordinary Thursday, the music takes over, the night becomes longer, the drinks become bottomless, the food is endless and at the end of it all, some people end up shoeless- oops!
From us here at Grekaddict we wish you all a great month filled with happiness, joy, partying and most importantly meat! Enjoy your Tsiknomempti!