You can call it Fat Thursday if you are in Germany, Giovedì Grasso if you hail from Italy, or Jueves Lardero in Spain. If you come from around my parts of the world you would call this day Tsiknopempti (tsikno meaning the smell/smoke of meat grilling and Pempti meaning Thursday in Greek) but I just call it “Stinky Thursday” because I am not too fond of “tskina”. But wherever you come from if you are Catholic or Greek Orthodox, this is the last feast day before the long and arduous lent period before Easter.
If you are one of those people who enjoy the smell of grilling meat on a barbecue, spit, open grill or campfire then you just have to make a point of being in Greece when Tsiknopempti is celebrated with a passion all over the country. The smell permeates every nook and cranny and leaves no nose unattended. I even think that with a favorable eastern wind – the “tsikna” will make it all the way to Bombay tempting the most devout vegetarian.
It is usually a day that I do not participate in with much fervor. But this year will be different because I just received a press release from the Acropolis Museum that they will be hosting a special Tsiknopempti buffet with a plentiful traditional fare of grilled meats which is customary for the day and a delicious assortment of fresh salads and delicious desserts.
I do not need an excuse to go to the Acropolis Museum and although I have been many times already I am always eager to go again. Apart from being perhaps the most beautiful museum I have ever seen architecturally, apart from having breathtaking sculptures, apart from having large, airy uncluttered spaces with natural light allowing you to enjoy the marbles of the Parthenon in different colors as they reflect the Attica sun, and apart from having the best view of the Acropolis, I think the idea to have a Tsiknopempti buffet is brilliant and I salute the museums management for this initiative.
The buffet begins at 20.00 and will last until midnight so that gives us plenty of time to enjoy the exhibits and now that the days are starting to get longer I will see the marbles by sunset.
But anytime you visit the Acropolis Museum is the right time. The Athens Walking Tours offer wonderful and insightful guided tours which make your museum experience so much more worthwhile. You can even combine it with an Acropolis Tour.
The Acropolis Museum operates during the following days and hours:
Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 12 midnight
Saturday – Sunday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The Museum Cafe is also a wonderful option for a light snack or refreshments.