Whatever you may call Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Pancake Day, Paczki Day, our family loves to celebrate it each year! The reference to pancakes and fat goes back to the days when Lent was a time of strict fasting and so all the household goodies would need to be used up on this day. Shrove Tuesday refers though to the idea of confession; thus, a day for preparing your heart to begin a season of prayer and penitence. On this day, we begin with a celebratory tone, good food, games like the "40 Quiz," and planting seeds but we move to a more quiet and reflective tone so that we can enter into Lent properly. The Church understands our weak wills and so prepares us for a season of preparation with Shrove Tuesday. It helps us to begin Lent well when we have spent the time beforehand to pray and make goals for the new season.
Last year, I wrote about our Shrove Tuesday traditions over at the blog At a Hen's Pace. We were just getting to know this wonderful AMiA church, Light of Christ, in Kenosha as we were leaving and have appreciated Jeanne's insights. So if you'd like to have a little fun making yummy pancakes or perhaps some pretzels, a traditional fasting bread, check out the entry and Jeanne's Lenten practices too!