Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Shrove Tuesday Celebrated with Pancakes Today

Shrove Tuesday Celebrated with Pancakes Today

The last day before the beginning of Lent is known as Shrove Tuesday in Britain and many places around the world.

Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, and Carnival are also related to the tradition of Shrove Tuesday.

In modern times it is more commonly referred to as Pancake Day in the U.K. and Ireland, but Shrove Tuesday is traditionally a day of feasting.

The derivation of the word "shrove" is unclear but it is believed to be drawn from "shriving" or asking forgiveness from sins, which aligns with Christian activities during Lent.

Right before the Lent season of self-denial, people everywhere are celebrating Shrove Tuesday by making pancakes. Pancakes are used during the celebration because of their rich ingredients: flour, milk, sugar, and eggs, which one should abstain from during the ritual of Lent.

Shrove Tuesday reminds us that we are entering the season 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.

British pancakes are more similar to French-style crepes than to the thicker, smaller American pancake. A number of churches will hold pancake suppers in preparation for Easter and the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Both sweet and savory-style pancakes can be served during Shrove Tuesday. There are many variations to the recipe, and pancakes can be used during breakfast, dinner, or even dessert.

Some people add garlic and onions to their pancake batter, while others add chocolate, syrup, or fruit in the dish. Fillings also include powdered sugar, jam, Nutella, and cream, among many others.

Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is also observed in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Philippines, and Germany.

On Feb. 23 Ash Wednesday will follow the feasting celebration where faithful adherents will wear ashes on their forehead as a sign or mourning and repentance to God. This practice is common for Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptist denominations.


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