Tsiknopempti, literally Smelly Thursday, or even Charred, Smoky, or Barbeque Thursday “because of the smell of the grilled meat in the air”, is part of the traditional Carnival celebrations in the run-up to Lent in Greece and Cyprus.
The name Tsiknopempti (Τσικνοπέμπτη) comes from the Greek words Tsikna (τσίκνα), which is the smell of roasting meat, and Pempti (Πέμπτη ), which means Thursday.
Tsiknopempti is the second to last Thursday before Lent and on this day, 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 Green Monday (or Ash Monday), the first day of the Great Lent and therefore a public holiday in Cyprus. This year it will be on March 2.
Similar celebrations known as Fat Thursday are held in many other countries.
This Tsiknopempti, February 20, Larnaca Municipality invites everybody to celebrate together and offers traditional treats, such as plenty of grilled meat, local wine and zivania.
The celebration will take place at Europe Square and starts at 12 noon.
Thursday, February 20
Europe Square, Larnaca