Text, photos & video by Kelsey Edwards
Kosmas Savriadi of Orea Ydra cooking on the grill for Tsiknopempti 8th February 2018
Tsiknopempti (Τσικνοπέμπτη), literally "Thursday of the Smoke of Grilled Meat", is part of the traditional celebrations for Carnival season in Greece and of course Hydra.
The three weeks of Carnival in Greece are, in order, Profoni (Προφωνή), Kreatini (Κρεατινή) & Tirofagou (Τυροφάγου).
Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of the week of Kreatini, during which large amounts of meat are traditionally consumed prior to the arrival of Lent, the fasting season leading up to Orthodox Easter.
In the Greek Orthodox tradition, fasting on Wednesday and Friday is important, therefore Thursday is the best day for Tsiknopempti, which is celebrated 11 days before Clean Monday.
In Hydra it is celebrated with improptu gatherings for street and garden BBQ's with plenty of meat, local wine and very loud music to share with friends and anyone who happens to pass by.
This isn't an 'organised' annual event. It's on a par with people celebrating a birthday or name day. Some but not all restaurants and bars, hold organised parties though in the run up to the main carnival weekend.