Five Facts About Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras


  1. Throughout Europe most people celebrate Shrive Tuesday with pancakes.
  2. Pancakes are associated with the day before Lent because it was a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the 40 days fast begins.
  3. The word shrove refers to an old English word shrive meaning ‘confess’.
  4. Most people call today Mardi Gras, which in French means Fat Tuesday, marking seven weeks before Easter Day.
  5. In Iceland they celebrate today with salted meats, fish, and peas. Known as Sprengidagur (Bursting Day).

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As for me, I’ll take spirited Mardi Gras (with a Bloody Mary chaser the following morning) and begin a most penitent Lent with an imposition of ashes that evening. But that’s just me.