If you like pancakes, next Tuesday is your day.
It’s Shrove Tuesday next Tuesday, also known as Shrovetide Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday. So what does “Shrove” mean? And why are some Christians eating pancakes today?
Pancakes were traditionally eaten on the day before Ash Wednesday because they were a way to use up eggs, milk, and sugar before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. Liturgical fasting during Lent emphasizes eating plainer food and refraining from “pleasurable” foods such as meat, dairy and eggs. Many people “give something up” during Lent as a way to prepare for Easter, which will be celebrated March 27 by most Christians.
“It comes from the tradition that Fat Tuesday is the last day where people are eating a lot of sugar, eating meat, and there are usually sausages served with the pancakes,” said the Rev. Katie Nakamura-Rengers, associate rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. “You might as well have one last hurrah.”
Shrove is the past tense of shrive, which means to gain absolution of sins by confession and repentance. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday in some western European countries.