Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day is celebrated in February or March preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent).
Pancakes are associated with Shrove Tuesday because they are a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The moveable feast is determined by Easter and is an expression of absolution, observed by many Christians who use the time to reflect on their sins and make amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth.
The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday” which you may recognise as a carnival day in Louisiana, refers to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Shrove Tuesday dates back to the 1600s and while it may have lost some of its meaning over time, and for many of us is a day where we simply gorge ourselves on pancakes, it’s important to remember it’s history and what we’re actually celebrating.
To this day, people still uphold Lent, and even those without religious backgrounds give up something for the 40 day season, chocolate tends to be a popular choice among women. Are you giving up anything for Lent this year? Let us know.
1. BBC Good Food, Easy Pancakes
2. The Spruce Eats, Traditional English Pancakes
3. Sainsbury’s Magazine, Basic Pancakes