Tsiknopempti - Burnt Thursday Thursday 8th February 2018

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We started the day in Vathy at the town square where Ithaki's Mayor and locals grilled up a storm for anyone and everyone around or passing by. The gorgeous sunny morning made a nice change from the grey days prior.

It's definitely been the warmest February I've known so far. More like Spring than the depth of winter. There were many celebrations around the island with this last day of feasting on meat before Lent. We went to 3 of them.

After Vathy we headed up north all the way to Kioni, almost, but not quite to the end of the road, where enthusiastic locals and other northern villagers gathered at the old primary school for their annual Tsiknopempti grill up.

Again, locals chip in bringing food and their local wines to make for a day of complete feasting. Souvlaki seering on a charcoal grill dominated the smells wafting around the village.

Kioni was fun, but there was still the drive up the mountain to the village of Anoghi, where even more people were enjoying Tsiknopempti and not just souvlaki on the grill, but 2 whole animals spit roasting to perfection. Grill man Ronnie and his disciples made sure everything cooked perfectly.

For a sleepy little village like Anoghi, it's almost always a certainty that some craziness, usually brought on by copious amounts of Tsipouro, will erupt in the form of enthusiastic dance moves, oopahing and singing. These locals enjoy putting on a great party and it's always fun!

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