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Tsiknopempti (Greek: Τσικνοπέμπτη), literally Smelly Thursday, or even Charred, Smoky, or Barbeque Thursday "because of the smell of the grilled meat in the air",[1] is part of the traditional celebrations for Carnival (in Greek: Αποκριά) season in Greece and Cyprus.


The three weeks of Carnival in Greece are, in order, "Prophoni" (in Greek: Προφωνή -Preannouncement Week), "Kreatini" (in Greek: Κρεατινή -Meatfare Week),[1] and "Tyrofagou" (in Greek: Τυροφάγου -Cheesefare Week).[1] Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of the 2nd week of Apokria[2] (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.[3] In the Greek Orthodox tradition, fasting on Wednesday and Friday is important, therefore Thursday is the best day for Tsiknopempti.[4] Tsiknopempti is celebrated 11 days before Clean Monday ((or Ash Monday).

Similar celebrations known as Fat Thursday are held in many other countries.


The name Τσικνοπέμπτη comes from the Greek words τσίκνα, which is the smell of roasting meat,[2] and Πέμπτη, which means Thursday.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Greek Customs". Hellenic Republic: Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  2. ^ a b Λεξικό της Δημοτικής. Ορθογραφικό, ερμηνευτικό, ετυμολογικό (in Greek) (2nd ed.). Athens: Εταιρεία Ελληνικών Εκδόσεων. 1977. p. 715.
  3. ^ Σόφη Ζιώγου (March 7, 2013). Τσικνοπέμπτη: 20 παραδόσεις, έθιμα και άλλα που (ίσως) δε γνωρίζατε. clickatlife.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  4. ^ "Apokries. Carnival in Crete & Greece". Living in Crete.net. Retrieved 2017-08-28.