Are you a fan of folk traditions? Do you perhaps fancy yourself as an avid meat lover? If so, Cyprus has the perfect day for you! “Tsiknopempti” is Cyprus’ most anticipated, island-wide traditional barbeque celebration. With grills ablaze, lamb and pork roasting all over the country there is no other one day when trying out the famous Cypriot souvlaki is a must!!
The day of Tsiknopempti is Part of the festivities of The Carnival (or “Apokries” meaning “saying goodbye to meat") in preparation for the Holy Week of Easter. Carnival Festivities traditionally consist of three weeks dubbed "Prophoni" (Preannouncement Week), "Kreatini" (Meatfare Week) and "Tyrofagou" (Cheesefare Week). Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of Kreatini and while it is not a public holiday, it is one of the most anticipated days of the year because it celebrates one of Cyprus’ most loved delicacies: roast meat.
If you happen to find yourself in one of the many beautiful Cypriot villages on this day, you’re in for a mouthwatering feast of some of Cyprus’ most delectable meat dishes and if you’re lucky you may even be able to participate in some of the many traditional games played on the day like potato sack racing or rope pulling. Vegetarian friends do not fret! Tsiknopempti feasts may be all about the meat, but no self respecting Cypriot would make souvlaki without grilling some halloumi cheese and serving it in freshly baked pitta, so vegetarian visitors also have something to enjoy!