Tsiknopempti: Get Your Meats Ready, Fire Up Your Grill!

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Tsiknopempti – the Orthodox equivalent of “Fat Thursday”– is being celebrated on Thursday, March 3, throughout Greece and Cyprus, and by expatriate Greeks around the world who commemorate the mid-point of the three-week carnival season before Lent.

The “Thursday of the smoke from grilled (or roasted) meats”, the exact meaning of the term in Greek, sees families barbecue at home or head for outings at traditional grill houses (psistaries) and tavernas with grills. Extended gatherings of friends and family are common.

The beginning of Orthodox Lent comes on March 14 (Clean Monday) this year, with Easter (Pascha) on May 1.