What happens on Tsiknopempti (Smokey Thursday)?

What happens on Tsiknopempti (Smokey Thursday)?

Tsiknopempti also known as Smokey Thursday is a vibrant Greek and Cypriot festival that falls on the Thursay before lent in the Greek Authodox Church calendar. This joyous occasion is a time for people to come together, let their hair down, and enjoy all the good things in life. Whether you're eating delicious Souvla or Souvlaki cooked on a Cyprus BBQ, sipping on a glass of wine, or dancing the night away, Tsiknopempti is an occasion that is sure to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

The word "Tsiknopempti" comes from the Greek words "tsikna" meaning "smokey" and "pempti" meaning "Thursday." 

The festival is seen as an opportunity to indulge in good food and drink before the start of the Lenten fast, which requires participants to abstain from meat and other luxury items for a period of 40 days.

Sheftalia Tsiknopempti

One of the things that makes Tsiknopempti so special for Greek Cypriots is the sense of community that comes with it. People from all walks of life come together to celebrate and enjoy each other's company. It's a time for families and old friends to catch up, and for new friendships to be made. The atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and full of good cheer, making Tsiknopempti a truly memorable family occasion.

People traditionally gather in taverns, cafes, and homes to enjoy a meal of grilled meats, such as pork Souvla and Souvlaki, chicken, and Sheftalia sausage. The meat is often seasoned with herbs, spices, and lemon, and is grilled over hot coals on a Cyprus BBQ to create a smoky flavour that gives the festival its name.

Souvlaki on a Cyprus BBQ


So if you're looking for a reason to let loose and have some fun and fire up your Cyprus BBQ, look no further than Tsiknopempti. Whether you're Greek, Cypriot or simply a lover of good food, drink, and company, this traditional festival is sure to bring a smile to your face and a feeling of happiness to your heart. So why not gather your friends, fire up the Cyprus BBQ grill, and get ready to celebrate this wonderful tradition in style!

Souvla and Greek Salad Cyprus BBQ

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