I Need to Google That

According to my calendar, today is Shrove Tuesday. I wonder why it is called that. It’s also called Fat Tuesday and there’s a parade in downtown St. Louis today to celebrate. So what do I know about this day? Very little.

I know that some towns/cities celebrate with pancake races and, I assume, meals of pancakes. I believe this is in an effort to rid the house of all fats, eggs, milk, etc. in preparation for Lent.  But I don’t know why it’s a bad idea to have fats around during Lent.

I don’t know where the name “Shrove” came from. Does it mean something in particular?

Sounds like I need to Google some stuff … unless you want to leave a comment and tell me.

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3 Responses to I Need to Google That

  1. fillyjonk says:

    I always figured that Shrove came from “shriven,” which was an old word for being given forgiveness for your sins. I think in the old days (especially for Catholics) it was a big thing to go to church on Ash Wednesday, and confess, and then (very commonly) you got a dot or cross of ash marked on your forehead.

    I think the elimination of fats, eggs, that kind of stuff was a sort of penance. I know people who give up eating meat during Lent as being symbolic of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

    I think a lot of cultures did something to use up eggs and fat – where I grew up there were lots of Polish people and they used to have special donuts called paczki that they served on Shrove Tuesday. (Many of them called it “Paczki Day” or “Donut Day”)

  2. margaret says:

    As usual, I went to a local church last night for their traditional pancake supper. The information below was printed on cards on the tables.

    “Lent is traditionally a time of fasting before Easter. This generated the idea of Mardi Gras or Carnival as a time of merriment and feasting before Lent. The tradition of eating pancakes was created as a way of using up the eggs, oil and milk in the house to prepare for the fasting of Lent.

    Today we continue this tradition in the form of a pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. ‘Shrove’ comes from the verb ‘to shrive’, meaning to confess and receive absolution.”

  3. Mary Ann Powell says:

    I was raised as a Catholic and know about Lent, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, fasting, giving up for Lent etc., but must admit that I have never heard of Shrove Tuesday or having pancakes on that day.

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