Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the Christian Season of Lent begins. The name Shrove means “to confess” or “to repent”. In the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins on Shrove Tuesday, the day before the Lenten Season began, so that they would be already forgiven. Although Shrove Tuesday became a day of penitence, it was also a day of celebration. For many, it was a time to indulge themselves with all the rich foods that contained fat, butter and eggs, which were forbidden during the Season of Lent, a time of fasting.

In many countries, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday. Making pancakes was one way to use up all those perishable ingredients that weren’t going to be used during the Lenten Season.

To the French and here locally, the Tuesday before Lent begins is known as Mardi Gras, which means Fat Tuesday. Many churches annually host a Fat Tuesday Pancake Supper.

Fasting during the Season of Lent became mandatory during the Middle Ages and was enforced throughout Europe during that time. People were required to abstain from eating all meat, especially during the final weeks before Easter. In fact, the word Carnival means to “go without meat” or “removal of meat”.