No photos of food will be included in this post...
you'll be pleased to know
This is one of the most pleasurable days before the strict fasting of Lent. Lent means no meat, cheese, eggs, fish, dairy for 7 weeks - for those that follow strictly the commandments of the Orthodox church.
Called Tsiknopempti, Smoky or Smelly Thursday. Smoky and smelly because of the delectable aroma of meat on the barbecue which wafts from every home on the island along the harbour, through the back streets, tempting the twitching nostrils. 11 days before Clean Monday, Ash Monday to the rest of you. This is meat week, next week is cheese week then follows the 7 weeks of fasting.
Traditonally we all eat meat on this day. Grilled meat. It's another of those get-together days. Families gather together, eat meat with lashings of tzatziki. The kids dress up in their carnival costumes and usually it all winds up with dancing and much merriment.
Mind you, it's nothing like the years pre-crisis when the petrol station spit roasted a whole lamb, the taxi boat owners set up a grill on the wharf and every butcher's shop had a BBQ outside their shop.
Local schools set up grills in the playgrounds and provide souvlaki (meat on a skewer), a piece of bread and a drink for the children. Souvlaki on a stick always comes with a small slice of bread and a squeeze of lemon juice. Greek children are just as happy to drink water though juice is offered as well.