Shrove Tuesday and Lent are Christian festivals observed in many people all over the world and by non – Christians too.
The word Shrove comes from the English word Shrive – which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins. Shrove Tuesday was named after the Christian custom of ‘Shriven’ before the start of Lent.
The traditional feast of Pancakes were eaten before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday and would be taken after a Christian had confessed their sins. It is thought that Pancakes become the tradition as they have been cooked in England since the 15th Century and were an ideal way of using up fats before Lent.
The feast of Pancakes allowed for one last indulgence before Lent which occurs 40 days before Easter. (It’s actually 47 days – but Sundays aren’t included).
Shrove Tuesday and Lent change dates each year as they are always 47 days before Easter Sunday.
During Lent Christians fast or give up certain luxuries to replicate Jesus’s journey in to the desert and his temptation by the devil. Lent is usually observed until Maudy Thursday – the day before Good Friday and the celebration of Easter.
Lent for many Christians is a solemn period and churches often remove flowers from the alter during this time.
However now many none Christians join in this period and make this time their own. Advertising has led us all to know Shrove Tuesday as ‘Jif lemon day’ or more commonly ‘Pancake day’ – and many people use the period of lent to give up something that might be bad for us before diving into the chocolate at Easter.
Regardless of your faith, why not join in this Lent – pick one thing that is bad for you and give it up until Easter – your body will thank you.