Why is Shrove Tuesday Celebrated?

Why Is Shrove Tuesday Celebrated1

Shrove Tuesday is primarily the day before the Christian practice called Ash Wednesday. This term is widely used in various countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Likewise, people living in United Kingdom and Ireland also use this term when dealing with this festive event. To know more about this special day including the reason why people celebrate Shrove Tuesday, let’s take a closer look at the nature of this very nice practice.

The Significance of Shrove Tuesday

Why is Shrove Tuesday celebrated? In various countries, people celebrate Shrove Tuesday in preparation for the Lenten Season. In this special day, they do things that are not allowed during the said Christian practice of Lent. It was derived from the act of shriving that English Christians do before they receive absolution for their sins. When the Protestant Reformation ended, the development of the so-called Shrovetide season took place. Latin European countries continued on this festive carnival tradition.

In the U.S., Shrove Tuesday is no longer celebrated. Only those who are under Roman Catholic, Episcopal and Lutheran Churches adhere to this practice. Outside of these religious institutions, people celebrate Mardi Gras instead. This special day is also called Pancake Day in other countries such as England. This annual event is associated with food specialties that are rich in butter, sugar and eggs. This is the primary reason why people eat pancakes during this day.

In other cultures, this day also goes by the name Pancake Tuesday. This is true in places such as New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. Of course, do not forget Newfoundland, which has many denominations of Protestants, Lutherans and Anglicans. Eating pancakes is customary in these locations.

Additional Information and Other Important Details About the Event

In Sweden, they celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Fat Tuesday by eating fastlagsbulle or semla, which is a traditional pastry with whipped cream and almond paste. In some areas of the U.S. where many Polish live like Detroit and Chicago, they celebrate Paczki Day, which is characterized by delicious Polish food, lively music and exciting contests. Uzgavenes is the term they use in Lithuania, where people usually eat within this day Lithuanian-style doughnuts and pancakes. In addition, they call this special day ‘Bursting Day’ or simply Sprengidagur in Iceland, where people eat peas and salt meat.

This kind of event is called Malasada Day in Hawaii, where people usually prepare and eat doughnuts or malasada. For German Americans, this special day is referred to as Fastnacht Day. In Finland and Estonia, people spend this day eating ham soup and split pea.

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  1. Henriette Marie Bartlett