Hello again everyone.
Have you ever been “over shroved”? I have. Last year. At Uncle Bill’s Pancake House.
As I’m sure you know, Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent. When you give up something until Easter. So, since you are giving something up for such a long time, what do you do? You go out and eat … a LOT.
Now I did not know this before I started writing this blog post, but the word “shrove” is the past tense of the word “shrive” which means to “hear the confession of, assign penance to and absolve someone”. Huh? What does that have to do with the day before Ash Wednesday?
[Research … research … research…]
Where do you go to research stuff? Wikipedia, of course. Here’s what Wiki has to say:
Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” or “gorging” before the fasting period of Lent.
This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve“. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”
Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring 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.
Here’s my translation: Shrove Tuesday is a day you eat as many pancakes as you can because you are going to give up eating for 40 days and need to maintain your inner spiritual self. This way you are so ready for Easter and all of the candy the Easter Bunny brings. (But that is another story.)
So help me God.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned.