Here we are again. 2 weeks before Lent. This Thursday is the last of the big meat eating days. This week is Meat week. Next week is Cheese Week.
Then it's Clean Monday, a national holiday and the beginning of the 6 weeks of Lent.
So today we eat meat. The island is filled with an aromatic cloud of smoke from bbqed meat, wafting around the backstreets and along the waterfront
Pork, beef, chicken, turkey, goat, venison or rabbit. Lots of liver, sausages, souvlaki, kebab . And great amounts of tzatziki.
According to 'Olive Magazine'
The custom originated from the Dionysion* revelry of ancient Greece. As with other rites and rituals it was incorporated into Christianity.
*Dionysos. Greek god of grape harvest, wine making, revelry, ritual madness and naturally enough after all that he's the god of fertility as well.
After all the meat eating, beer and wine drinking today there'll be a bit of dancing as well. The men twirl and slap their legs while their friends clap them on and yell 'opa', throw a few packets of table napkins and maybe even break a plate though that's frowned on now .
Carnival has already begun and really ramps up for the next 10 days.
In days of yore we would dress up, don a carnival mask and crowd into one of the tavernas which were overflowing with people and music . We'd eat piles of greasy lamb chops and K would be on the dance floor all night, between glasses of retsina, doing those circle dances with lines of dancers shuffling along behind the leaders or kicking up his heels and slapping thighs doing the energetic 'butchers' dance.
Tonight we will light the fire, grill some meat and enjoy the company of family. It'll all be over early because the grandchildren have school tomorrow. Our traditional greek will be happy after a litre or two of the family wine
Photos from days of yore