Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Shrove Tuesday

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According to Wikipedia, Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is the day preceding As Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is determined by Easter; its date changes annually.

The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess." Related popular practices are associated with celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of 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.

Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs.

In Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand among Anglicans, Lutherans, and some other Protestant denominations, including ethnic British communities, Episcopalians in the United States as well as Catholics, this day is also known as "Pancake Day" as it is a common custom to eat pancakes as a meal.

In the United Kingdom, Pancake Day is also an annual feature on the children's television show Blue Peter.

In Newfoundland small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail that they will become or marry a carpenter.

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