Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) History
Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Day and Mardi Gras, is a day for feasting in preparation for the sacrifice and fasting period of Lent, which begins the following day with Ash Wednesday. Celebrations continue into the night of Shrove Tuesday as people engage in eating rich and fatty foods but they must end by midnight. Carnivals are common during the Pre-Lenten Season, known as Shrovetide, street parties, carnivals and parades are also common. Aside from merriment, Shrovetide also serves the purpose of analyzing one’s own self and finding wrongdoings that need to be repent over Lent, as well as finding ones areas of spiritual growth that need God’s blessing.
Shrove Tuesday is observed by Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Methodists. The consumption of pancakes is a common means of celebrating and using up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting season begins. This holiday is celebrated 41 days before Easter every year.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) Facts & Quotes
- According to National Geographic, humans may be eating pancakes since the Stone Age.
- The word shrove is past tense of shrive, a verb meaning to confess and be absolved of sin.
- Rich foods such as meats, fats, eggs, milk and sugar were restricted during Lent. Therefore, to use up all of the milk, eggs and sugar, pancakes were made and have since become a tradition for celebrating Shrove Tuesday.
- Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. The term originates from the tradition of eating rich and fatty foods before fasting for Lent.
- According to the Guinness book of World Records, the world's largest pancake made measured 15.01m in diameter and 2.5cm thick. The pancake weighed more than 3 tons and was created in Rochdale, Manchester in 1994 by Co-Operative Union, Ltd.
In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do in the way of penance. - Aelfric of Eynsham, English abbot, circa 1000 A.D.
Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day) Top Events and Things to Do
- Eat pancakes! Catholics and other Christians use Shrove Tuesday to get rid of all sugar, fats and eggs in the house by making pancakes, which not only reduces waste but also temptation.
- Decide what you will sacrifice for Lent. If you are not Christian or don’t observe Lent, then consider refraining from a habit such as smoking, eating junk food or buying fast food.
- Participate in a Pancake Competition. Every year since 1950, women from the county of Liberal, Kansas compete against women from Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Dressed in aprons and holding pancakes in frying pans, women compete against one another in this great trans-Atlantic Pancake Race.
- Attend a Mardi Gras festival and parade. Here are some recommendations:
1) Mardi Gras, New Orleans
2) St. Louis Mardi Gras, St. Louis, Missouri
3) Pensacola Mardi Gras, Pensacola, Florida
4) Galveston Mardi Gras, Houston, Texas
5) Mobile Mardi Gras, Mobile, Alabama
- Try a twist on traditional maple syrup pancakes. Here are some suggestions:
1) Mint Chocolate Chip Pancakes made with mint extract and chocolate chips. Add a few drops of green color for a burst of color.
2) Red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting. Add cocoa powder and red food coloring to the pancake batter.
3) Caramel banana pancakes made by layering pancakes with caramel and topping with sliced bananas
4) Blueberry peach cobbler pancakes made by layering pancakes with peach jam and topping with fresh blueberries.