Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Today is Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. See our archives for February 2007 for 'Laisser Les Bons Temps Rouler', an article on all things about the tradition of Carnival , especially in Latin Countries. Mardi Gras is the name given this day before Ash Wednesday in French speaking countries. In Portuguese speaking countries it is called Terça-fiera Gorda and also Terça-feira de Carnaval (Tuesday of Carnival). it is known as Martes de Carnival in the Hispanic world and Faschingsdienstag in the Germanic countries(also Fasnacht/Fausnacht/Fauschnaut Day. In Italy it is called Martedi Grasso; in Sweden Fettisdagen(Fat Tuesday) and in Estonia Vastlapaev. In Poland the day is called Tlusty Czwartek. In Finland it is called Laskiainen. As the last day before the beginning of Lent it was convenient to use up rich foods such as butter, eggs, etc. that were forbidden during the Lenten season and would therefore have spoiled. Pancakes were a convenient form to do this in, hence the name of "Pancake Day" in much of the English speaking world.

This day is also known as "Shrove Tuesday", from "shrive" to give absolution for sins. It gained this name because it was considered customary to make one's confession (to be shroven) before the season of Lent. This was the last day to really get some good stories to tell in the confessional. Happy sinning to all, and to all a good night-Molly

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