Tuesday has arrived with the last day before the beginning of Lent, known as Fat Tuesday, and people everywhere are celebrating.
Also known as Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, the holiday sees people preparing for the Lenten season of self-denial.
Celebrations include feasting on rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of Lent. The holiday is also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day in some places, where is it also traditionally a day of feasting.
While derivation of the word "shroving" is uncertain, it may have been drawn from "shriving" or asking for forgiveness from sins, which aligns with Christian activities during Lent.
Due to the rich ingredients found in pancakes such as sugar, butter, and eggs, the breakfast favorite is a perfect choice to eat on Fat Tuesday. The dish also allows one to use up perishable ingredients before the beginning of Lent.
Mardi Gras also marks "Carnival Season," or carnival celebrations where practices include wearing masks and costumes while dancing or participating in a parade. This ritual is very popular in New Orleans, Louisiana, and other cities famous for Mardi Gras celebrations include Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Quebec City, Canada, and Mazatlan, Mexico, among many others.
Fat Tuesday reminds us that we are entering the time for renunciation of sins as preparation for Easter. Lent lasts 40 days and 40 nights during which people fast and abstain, emulating Jesus' 40 days and 40 nights in the desert.
On Twitter, many users are posting about their Mardi Gras celebrations and their ideas for Lent.
"Happy Fat Tuesday," started Elle. "I'm celebrating by eating as much junk food as I possibly can in one day, even though I do that everyday."
Another Twitter user added, "Fat Tuesday? Ahhh. Just hand me the chocolate and the wine and we will be good."
Kari posted, "Debating on what to give up for Lent. It's between wine and chocolate. Any thoughts or am I officially crazy? #FatTuesday"
"Fat Tuesday," Eli wrote. "After today no sugar at all or juice soda etc!"
Atlanta's famous donut shop Sublime Doughtnuts posted a one-day-only special: "Fat Tuesday!! Lemon Curd filled Doughnuts for a limited time only."
Fat Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday.