Tsiknopempti celebrations got underway in Limassol, with the Carnival Queens making their entrance into the city.
The celebrations mark the beginning of 11 days of festivities until the Carnival.
Under the auspices of the municipal council, Thursday’s festivities started around 11 am on Gladstone and Ayiou Andreou streets.
At 12:30 pm, musicians started performing on Saripolou square.
The celebrations will continue throughout the day, with performances by the music groups “Latino touch” and “Batukinio” at Grigoriou Afxentiou square.
At 17:45, the city council and the Association of Self-taught Painters of Limassol will inaugurate the exhibition “Carnival 2019” at the city hall.
At 18:15, the municipality’s Philharmonic orchestra along with the Girl Guides Association of Cyprus and Limassol’s Cheerleaders will start marching towards Grigori Afxentiou square, where they will be joined by the Carnival Queens.
Then, a parade will start from Grigori Afxentiou square, which will head towards Iroon square. There another party is planned with music by the band “Ritmo di Carnival”.
Tsiknopempti, literally Smokey or Smelly Thursday, “because of the smell of the grilled meat in the air”, is part of the traditional celebrations for Carnival season in Greece and Cyprus.
Tsiknopempti is the Thursday of the 2nd week of Apokria during which large amounts of meat are traditionally consumed prior to the arrival of Lent, the fasting season leading up to Easter. In the Greek Orthodox tradition, fasting on Wednesday and Friday is important, therefore Thursday is the best day for Tsiknopempti.
Tsiknopempti is celebrated 11 days before Green Monday (or Ash Monday). Similar celebrations known as Fat Thursday are held in many other countries.