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Tsiknopempti day

This day is closely associated with the Christian observance known as Lent (Sarakosti in Greek), which leads up to Easter, the most important religious period of Christianity. During Lent Christians are expected to abstain from animal products such as meat, milk, cheese, and so on, though there are minor differences between the different Christian churches. Tsiknopempti (Fat Thursday in English speaking countries) marks the beginning of this period. It is the last day on which Christians can eat meat. In Cyprus people celebrate it with souvla (barbecued meat). On this day, households and businesses cook a variety of meats on an open fire. It is the smell of charred meat (tsikna) that gives it its name. The other component of the expression is “Pempti”, which is the Greek name for Thursday. It is a joyful occasion, celebrated with an abundance of traditional food and heartwarming wine that serves to cement existing relationships and repair fading ones.