3 Things to Know About Shrove Tuesday

If you’ve been driving around Dallas this past week, you may have noticed signs for “Pancake Supper”, “Pancake Tuesday”, or “Shrove Tuesday” at some local churches. What this means is you can get hot pancakes, butter, and syrup for about $5 all around town! What’s this all about? Well, here are 3 things to know about Shrove Tuesday.  

Why is Shrove Tuesday this Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday doesn’t fall in the same month or on the same date every year, like Valentine’s Day and Christmas do. Shrove Tuesday, called “Pancake Day” in the United Kingdom, is always 47 days before Easter Sunday. And it’s not the only holy day based on Easter. So are Ash Wednesday, Maundy or Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. On each of these days, Christians reflect on a different aspect of their faith.

What does the word shrove mean?

The word shrove can be traced from Latin scriber (“to write”) to Old English scrīfan (“to prescribe or impose”). The Church adopted this word to mean the act of, “hearing confession and administering absolution.” Originally, the discipline practiced on Shrove Tuesday was that of admitting one’s sins and receiving forgiveness from a priest.

Why pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?

Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday

Yes, being absolved, cleansed, and freed from sin and guilt is a reason to celebrate and eat pancakes! But it is also the time to use up perishable foods, like eggs and milk, before fasting for 40 days. “What is this fasting?” you ask. Well, the day after Shrove Tuesday is another holy day called Ash Wednesday. It is on Ash Wednesday that a season called Lent begins. According to the United Methodist Church website, Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.

The storyline connecting these holy days is that after “spring cleaning” our souls, we feast on pancakes to clean out our cupboards and fill our bodies in preparation of a season of fasting. I hope you’ll consider stopping by a local church to experience this tasty tradition!

Shrove Tuesday Foods Across the Globe

Country or State

Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras Tradition

Estonia

Split pea soup

Finland

Green pea soup

Louisiana

King cake

Mexico

King cake

Portugal

Fried yeast dough rolled in sugar

Scandinavia

Semla

Spain

Omelets (Día de la Tortilla)

United Kingdom

Pancakes

United States

Pancakes

Print Friendly, PDF & Email