As we head towards February there’s a significant date to look out for in the Christian calendar and the day in question is Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the very first day of Lent. There’s a good chance you have heard of Shrove Tuesday, but do you know what this date means, and what significance it has to Christianity? We explain everything here to simplify matters.
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday is a day of repentance prior to the beginning of Lent in the Christian calendar. It’s a chance to cleanse the soul and celebrate a little, giving you the opportunity to enjoy the last feast before Lent begins. In ancient times, this was the last day you had to use up all the food you weren’t allowed to eat during Lent, and many people ate pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, which is how it became known as Pancake Day in modern times.
It involves penitence
The name Shrove Tuesday is derived from the shriving rituals of old, where people would confess their sins and receive absolution for them from their priest. This released them from guilt, as they confessed all of their deeds to a holy man, who would then shrive them and absolve them in return.
We use Shrove Tuesday as a celebration
Today, we celebrate Shrove Tuesday by cooking pancakes at home, and for many, this is the last chance they have to indulge, before giving up something for Lent. In the old days, families would use this opportunity to use up food such as milk, eggs or fats, and by simply adding flour, they could make pancakes and celebrate with a fine feast, using up produce that might have gone off otherwise.
Shrove Tuesday is an important part of Christian life, and many families will be celebrating by eating pancakes this year, whilst thinking of the symbolism of this day.
Here at ITS Travel, we understand how significant Shrove Tuesday is, and also know that devout Christians can feel closer to God when they take part in escorted pilgrimages to Israel and all over the world. For more information about our Christian and Catholic pilgrimages, please contact us today or call us on 0161 839 1111.