Shrove Tuesday is a day in February or March preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In other countries it is called Mardi Gras, this is a carnival day, and also the last day fasting period of Lent.
This moveable festival is determined by Easter. The expression ‘Shrove Tuesday’ comes from the word shrive, meaning ‘absolve’. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics.
Being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations. 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.
In the village of Olney, Buckinghamshire, Shrove Tuesday has been celebrated with a pancake race since 1445. It is said that the tradition began when one harassed wife heard the shriving bell and dashed off to church, still clutching her frying pan.
The British use 52 million eggs on Pancake Day which is 22 million more than on an average day. Over a lifetime, an average person will eat 7,300 eggs
Pancake Day began as a way of using up eggs and flour before fasting for Lent.