IT IS ONE of the sweetest days of the year, and comes just before Catholics give up on sweet things for seven weeks.
There’s a reason Pancake Day falls right before Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent.
It is an ancient Christian holiday that has become modern non-religious, in the same way that Saint-Brigide became the day of the groundhog.
Christians around the world have for centuries observed Lent – the seven-week period in which luxuries and sweets are given up as a form of abstinence leading up to Easter.
In old Ireland, families emptied their homes of luxury food items such as eggs and sugar on Shrove Tuesday in anticipation of the start of Lent the next day.
And what better way to get rid of all your rich foods than to mix them up and fry them in a skillet?
The name Mardi Gras comes from the ancient Christian tradition of confessing your sins before Lent, ‘shriveling’ them, and although modern Ireland generally refers to Mardi Gras today, the term Mardi Gras is still used. .
It’s not just Ireland that has old traditions of feasting on all that is sweet and rich in the home before the 47-day abstinence of Lent – the tradition is carried over to countries around the world.
Same Mardi Gras, celebrated in countries such as the United States, translates directly into “Shrove Tuesday,” when people let themselves go before leading a more frugal life during the Lent period.
It also explains why Easter Sunday, the end of the Lent period, and a time when Christians celebrate the risen Jesus from the dead, is usually also marked by chocolate egg feasts – any Catholic who has given up candy for the sake of it. Lent will tell you that nothing tastes good. better than chocolate for breakfast on Easter Sunday morning.