We are fast approaching one of the biggest celebrations on the Greek calendar, and one where there is a brilliant excuse to partake in some of the finest Greek cuisine. Tsiknopempti is on the 20th February this year and is the official beginning of Greek Mardi Gras and carnival. This is the day where Greek people cook and eat as much meat as possible prior to the fourty-day fast that leads up to Easter.
Tsiknopempti is always celebrated on a Thursday, and literally means ‘Smell of Burning Food Thursday’, or is also known as ‘Barbeque Thursday’. The day originally came about in the villages throughout Greece where family and groups of friends would gather on this day to melt the fat from pigs and to barbeque meat. The smell would waft through entire villages, hence the smell of burning food that is linked to the name today.
The Mardi Gras celebrations traditionally include dressing up, games that include the whole of the village, and celebrations that go on long into the night and the following day. This is similar to festival celebrations in other countries, such as Lardero in Spain, and Mardi Gras in France.
The smell of meat cooking on a barbeque, and plenty of whole joints of meat, lamb, pork, beef, you see goat on the spit when in Greece celebrating. There is usually special Tsiknopempti menus on show throughout Greece, and a big celebration had by all. After Tsiknopempti, the following week is known as Cheese Week, after meat is no longer allowed but dairy products are.
If you are of Greek origin or want to learn more about Greek Mardi Gras and the joys of Tsiknopempti, Hungry Donkey is one of the best places you can visit for an authentic Greek food experience. There is plenty of joy in eating Greek food, with a big table of family and friends, and some of the freshest and tastiest ingredients to help you celebrate Tsiknopempti and Greek Mardi Gras.
Tsiknopempti is on the 20th February this year and is the amazing start to Greek Mardi Gras and carnival. As with every other aspect of Greek life, Tsiknopempti is a celebration where food takes centre stage. At Hungry Donkey we know how important food is to any celebration, and there is nothing like the beginning of Mardi Gras to get everyone together and have a proper tasty feed.
It is incredibly simple to book a table with us, and we would implore you to do so if you wish to experience Tsiknopempti and the start of Carnival. We know how to celebrate, and you can experience some of the tastiest Greek dishes at one of the best Greek restaurants in London. Our menu is as authentic as it comes, with everything cooked with the love and care that has been passed down from our mothers and grandmothers.