Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Shrove Tuesday - article (FD)

ChicagoLady asked what a "Shrove" was. So, for the benifit of her - and anyone else who's interested - I found this article on the subject... Enjoy!

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Shrove Tuesday, in the Christian calendar, the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, traditionally a period of fasting. When Lent was observed more rigorously than it is now, the two or three days prior to Ash Wednesday, known as Shrovetide, were celebrated by games, sports, feasting, dancing, and general merrymaking. “Shrove” comes from the Roman Catholic practice of confessing one’s sins and being absolved of them, or “shriven”. This takes place on Ash Wednesday.

In Germany, Shrove Tuesday is called Fastnacht (Eve of the Fast); in Italy and other southern European countries it is called Carnival (Farewell to Meat); and in Brazil and the United States, Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).

Shrovetide feasts were designed to use up the food that could not be eaten during the Lenten fast. In Britain, Collop Monday was when people ate up their supplies of bacon, eggs, and meat and on Shrove Tuesday (now more generally known as Pancake Day) flour, eggs, milk, and butter were used up in the making of pancakes. According to tradition, revelry began with the ringing of the Pancake or Shriving Bell soon after midday, which was the signal for villagers to cease work and go home to make pancakes or join in the games and merrymaking. Pancake Day races are still held in parts of Britain today, as are football matches, played since at least the 16th century when they were rather boisterous games with few or no rules. Other energetic sports were also indulged in, such as hurling and wrestling.


Taken from http://uk.encarta.msn.com/

5 comments:

ChicagoLady said...

Very interesting! I had no idea! Oh and in Brazil, Rio to be specific, it's called Carnaval. Only in the U.S., in Louisiana, is Mardi Gras celebrated.

MarmiteToasty said...

I am giving up crisps for lent :) - but NEVER chocolate LOL

x

Punkn said...

I knew Shrove Tuesday was like our Fat Tuesday but I had no clue what you were talking about when you mentioned pancakes.

I haven't decided what I'll give up for Lent yet (guess I'd better get on that, huh) but I know it won't be blogging!

Kati said...

Thanks for sharing this bit of history, Tori! Kinda makes me grateful my ancestors were Protestant, and therefor not inclined to give up foods for a given amount of time like Lent. *grin* (Then again, the baptists believe in not partaking in a great many of the good things -wine, dancing, parties- at all. Though chocolate is still -ALWAYS- allowed. *grin*)

I can't help but wonder, though..... A COMPLETE fast for the duration of Lent? I thought Lent meant giving up meat, but fish was allowed. Breads & grains and veggies and such were allowed as long as they were reasonably non-fancy. Wouldn't pancakes fall into the "non-fancy, Lent-allowed" category? Much as I appreciate a good pancake, I sure don't view them as fancy, Lent-forsaken bread-types. Hmmmmm.... Curiouser and curiouser. *wink*

Thanks again for the mini-history lesson! Hope you get your pancakes anyway!

Tori_z said...

Chicago:
Glad you found it interesting... I didn't know some of that myself. LOL!

Toasty:
I'm not giving anything up for lent... It wouldn't work. As soon as I say I'm not having it I'm going to want it so badly I end up giving in. Besides, it's not like I'm religious. Like I said in the post before this one... It's just an excuse for a pancake dinner to me!

Punkn:
Well, as long as it's not Blogging, you can give up anything you want! :)

Kati:
You're welcome... Glad you found it interesting.

I don't know... I've never really given it any thought. Lent doesn't really mean anything to me (sorry to those it means a lot to, but it's just how I feel) and I don't tend to devote time thinking too much about things that are based on religious beliefs that I myself don't follow. Like I said, I'm just in it for the pancakes.