Athenians stood line for free grilled meat to celebrate Tsiknopempti

Posted by in Society

There are these Greek traditions…. always celebrated with lots of food. There are Greek traditions people can hardly afford to celebrate anymore due to the economic crisis. “Tsiknopempti” today, the so-called “Grilling or Meat Day”, right in the middle of Carnival season, a day marked with meat consumption, prior to long Easter Lent.

“We are three people living on one pension,” a grimy-looking woman told state NET TV. The middle-aged woman was one of the hundreds of jobless, low-pensioners and homeless who ignored the rain and stood line to get for free a sausage or a steak, two slices of bread and a glass of wine.

At Varvakeios meat market right in the middle of Athens.

It’s a long time tradition that the meat sellers at Varvakeios market, set up grills and let tons of meat slowly get roasted over the charcoal. The tasty bites are distributed for free to the market visitors.

This year, the meat donations fell thinner when compared to previous years. One ton of meat was donated by the president of Varvakeios association, another 100 kilos by the several butchers.

Even the butchers and the meat sellers cannot be as generous as the years before. Economic crisis, recession and money shortage go hand in hand.

PS not that people would not form queues, if it wasn’t the crisis. But maybe this year the lines were fuller. Maybe this year the Varvakeios feast looked more than a solidarity free meal than a reason to celebrate.