Shrove Tuesday is marked as the last
day before the starting of Lent. Lent is the time when all the people of Christian
community become busy in preparation for Easter. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday
and Shrove Tuesday is the very Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
Shrove Tuesday got its name from the
ritual of shriving where Christians used to confess their sins and seek forgiveness.
The word Shrove has an etymological significance. Shrove derives from the word
"shrive" which means 'to confess'.
It is a day of repentance thereby cleansing
one’s soul, and a day of celebration as the last chance to feast before
the beginning of Lent.
Historians said that during medieval
period also people used to confess so that their sins are forgiven before the
season of Lent. The dates for celebration of Shrove Tuesday depend on that of
Easter Day. It starts sometime between early February and end of March.
People of different countries prefer
to identify Shrove Tuesday in different names. French has named it as Mardi
Gras, which signifies Grease or Fat Tuesday. It is also called Shrovetide.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake
Day after the fried batter recipe traditionally consumed on this day.
A multiple traditions and customs have
developed centering on Shrove Tuesday. Preparation and devouring of pancakes
become an integral part of Shrove Tuesday festivity. Thus it becomes a part
of an ancient custom with religious roots.
It is customary to entertain guests and
enjoy traditional gluttony. Keeping theses things in mind, Shrove racing, playing
football games, dancing have become indispensable for Shrove Tuesday celebration.