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Shrove Tuesday

Published: 6th February 2019

Shrove Tuesdaywill be celebrated on 5 March, in advance of Ash Wednesday, the first day ofLent. It is a day of penitence, to clean the soul and a last chance tocelebrate and feast before the start of Lent.

Historically,Christians would undergo the ritual of shriving, where they confessed theirsins and would receive forgiveness for them. Through receiving forgiveness forsins, people are released from the guilt of having caused them. It is believedthat traditionally a shriving bell was rung to call people to confession;today, in some places, it is still rung, but it is called the pancake bell.This name arose from the story of a woman of Olney, Buckinghamshire, who in1445 heard the shriving bell whilst making pancakes and ran to the church,still in her apron and clutching her frying pan.

Christians oftencelebrate and indulge in food on Shrove Tuesday, because Lent is a time ofabstinence with many Christians choosing to give up certain foods. In the past,in order that foods were not wasted, on Shrove Tuesday families would use upall the foods that would expire during the forty days of Lent. Pancakes becamewidely associated with Shrove Tuesday because they were a dish that could useup perishable items like eggs, milk and fat.

Page last updated: Tuesday 9th June 2020 7:09 PM

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