Friday 17 February 2017


Apokries is a three-week carnival in Greece immediately preceding Lent in the Greek Orthodox church. It's believed that it started in ancient times as a worship to Dionysos, the god of wine and feast. In the Orthodox tradition it's the preparation period before Lent. Apokries means literally saying no to meat (apo-kreas), as does the word carnival (carne-vale). It's usually celebrated in February but it does of course depend on when Easter falls. It's a time of dressing up, parades, street theatre and lots of food.

The second week of Apokries is meat week, and on the Thursday, Tsiknopempti (tsikna is the smell of burning meat, and pempti is Thursday), everyone eats charcoaled meat. Most people nowadays celebrate Tsiknopempti by going to tavernas which are consequently packed.

Philippou in Kolonaki is our favourite taverna these days, and we go there for lunch at least once a week.

Yesterday was Tsiknopempti and Philippou was packed, we were lucky to find a table.

They had a theme and all the staff were dressed up. Snow White was at the till

there were red apples on every table

the waiters were dressed as the dwarfs

except for one who was the evil stepmother.

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