Greeks celebrate Tsiknopempti during Patras Carnival by taking to the streets and consume large quantities of grilled meat, or having a barbecue at home with relatives and friends.
Tsiknopempti literally means "Thursday of the Smoke of Grilled Meat"
and it is celebrated 11 days before Clean Monday.
Children, but also some grown-ups dress in carnival costumes
and lots of bals masqués take place around the city.
back in the sixties!
Like a pagan fertility festival of the god Dionysus, with ancient Greek origin,
Tsiknopempti takes place this year in Greece today 3rd March,
and marks the beginning of the Greek Orthodox fasting period before Easter.
Although I had never before tried to make or just paint a carnival mask,
I do have a small collection of venetian masks I had bought in Venice in the past,
as well as some larger ones, also from Venice, hanging on the wall.
However, some time ago, my son had offered me two plain white masks to decorate,
so I decided I would at least try to paint them.
hand painted masks with acrylic and metallic colours
I just added some fabric and lace and there they are ready to be worn during the carnival festivities.
To all those who celebrate today, in spite of the heart breaking situation
of the thousands of Syrian refugees arriving daily in Greece,
I wish a happy Tsiknopempti!