Berlin, NJ – Once again, the Nafpaktian Society held its annual “Tsiknopempti” (Τσικνοπέμπτη = Smokey Thursday) party at Lucien’s Manor. This is the traditional Greek feast where roast meat is served in abundance. Tsiknopempti was established to enjoy the last day before the start of the complete abstinence from meat,

The “Sarakosti” (“Τεσσαρακοστή” forty days of fasting in preparation for the Holy Week of Pasha) was established over 1500 years ago. It is similar to and parallel to the Latin tradition of Lent. So it is, in the traditional way, the last day to enjoy meat before fasting/abstinence begins.

This particular day of the week was chosen because it falls between two other weekdays, where Greek Orthodox tradition forbids eating meat – Wednesdays and Fridays.

On Tsiknopempti, the streets and sidewalks in many parts of Greece are filled with portable barbecues, roasting the delicacies of kokoretsi, splinandero, Kontosouvli, souvlakia, gyro, sausages, etc. The air is full of smoke and the particular smell of roast meat (“tsikna”) of the event.

The feasts organizers, including the key officers of the Nafpaktian Society Vasilios Kalavrouzoitis, John Patouhos, Cosmas Diamandis, and Christos Balis, supported by the hard work of many other members (with family names of Balis, Kolovos, Paliatsas, Patouhas, Diamandis, Diamantakos, Tasiopoulos, Kalafrouziotis, Poulianas, and others,) put on a splendid evening of dinner and dancing, at the exceptional hall and always impeccable service of Lucien’s Manor.

Following the souvlakia, Kontosouvli, and other delicacies being turned on the spit – outdoors, as is traditional – the celebrants, which numbered over 170, near capacity, enjoyed dancing to the traditional Greek music by the George Tsilimekis group, and by the famous “DJ Gus.”

The Nafpaktian Society “Roumeli,” established in 1979, chose the occasion to honor two past presidents, Mr. Kostas Diamandis and the late Mr. John Balis.