What is the meaning of Tsiknopempti?
Tsiknopempti , literally “Thursday of the Smoke of Grilled Meat”, is part of the traditional celebrations for Carnival season in Greece. The three weeks of Carnival in Greece are, in order, “Profoni”, “Kreatini”, and “Tirofagou”.
Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of the week of Kreatini, during which large amounts of meat are traditionally consumed prior to the arrival of Lent, the fasting season leading up to Easter.
In the Greek Orthodox tradition, fasting on Wednesday and Friday is important, therefore Thursday is the best day for Tsiknopempti.
Tsiknopempti is celebrated 11 days before Clean Monday.
Similar celebrations known as ‘Fat Thursday’ are held in many other countries. In many countries there is an equivalent festivity day widely known as “Mardi Gras”.