Thursday, 24 February 2011
Today is Tsiknopempti in Greece. A loose translation would be 'Burnt Thursday' or 'Barbecue Thursday' - tsikno means the smell of burnt and grilled meat and pempti means Thursday.
Tsiknopempti is traditionally held on the Thursday which is 11 days before Clean Monday, the beginning of Lent. As you will have gathered, it is a day of meat eating and wherever you go you will smell the smoke and meat from barbecue being held in all the households.
Here in Corfu we have an additional tradition on Tsiknopempti. It is called Corfiot Petegoletsia or 'gossip'. It's a kind of street theatre held in the centre of the old town with amateurs taking the part of women from old Corfu on the small balconies of the old buildings and gossiping to each other in the local dialect. At the end of the performance songs are sung in the street.