Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday (also known in Commonwealth countries and Ireland as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day) is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, this is a carnival day, and also the last day of "fat eating" or "gorging" before the fasting period of Lent.

This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve".[1] Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics,[2] who "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."[3]

As this is the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one gives up for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations. The term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Shrove Tuesday
Pieter Bruegel the Elder- The Fight between Carnival and Lent detail 3
Observed byFollowers of many Christian denominations (including the Orthodox churches) and by common custom
DateIn seventh week before Easter, day before Ash Wednesday
2018 dateFebruary 13
2019 dateMarch 5
2020 dateFebruary 25
2021 dateFebruary 16
Related toAsh Wednesday
Fat Thursday
Mardi Gras


The tradition of marking the start of Lent has been documented for centuries. Ælfric of Eynsham's "Ecclesiastical Institutes" from around 1000 AD states: "In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him as he then may hear by his deeds what he is to do [in the way of penance]".[4] By the time of the late Middle Ages, the celebration of Shrovetide lasted until the start of Lent.[5] It was traditional in many societies to eat pancakes or other foods made with the butter, eggs and fat that would be given up during the Lenten season. Similar foods are fasnachts and pączkis.[6] The specific custom of British Christians eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday dates to the 16th century.[6] Along with its emphasis on feasting, another theme of Shrove Tuesday involves Christians repenting of their sins in preparation to begin the season of Lent in the Christian calendar.[7] In many Christian parish churches, both Protestant and Roman Catholic, a popular Shrove Tuesday tradition is the ringing of the church bells (on this day, the toll is known as the Shriving Bell) "to call the faithful to confession before the solemn season of Lent" and for people to "begin frying their pancakes".[8][9]


Boris Kustodiev - Shrovetide - Google Art Project
Russian artist Boris Kustodiev's Maslenitsa (1916)
Zapusty-w-Podmoklach-Wielkich 1950
Shrove Tuesday, Bear guiding in Poland (1950)

The word shrove is a form of the English word shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday was named after the custom of Christians to be "shriven" before the start of Lent.[10]

In the United Kingdom, Ireland and parts of the Commonwealth, Shrove Tuesday is also known as "Pancake Day" or "Pancake Tuesday", as it became a traditional custom to eat pancakes as a meal.[11][12][13][14][5] In Irish the day is known as Máirt Inide, from the Latin initium (jejunii), "beginning of Lent."[15] Elsewhere, the day has also been called "Mardi Gras", meaning "Fat Tuesday", after the type of celebratory meal that day.[16]

In Germany, the day is known as Fastnachtsdienstag, Faschingsdienstag, Karnevalsdienstag or Veilchendienstag (the last of which translates to violet [the flower] Tuesday). It is celebrated with fancy dress and a partial school holiday. Similarly, in German American areas, such as Pennsylvania Dutch Country, it is known as Fastnacht Day.[17]

In the Netherlands, it is known as "vastenavond", or in Limburgish dialect "vastelaovend", though the word "vastelaovend" usually refers to the entire period of carnival in the Netherlands.[18] In some parts of Switzerland (e.g. Lucerne), the day is called Güdisdienstag, preceded by Güdismontag. According to the Duden dictionary, the term derives from "Güdel", which means a fat stomach full of food Güdeldienstag.[19]

In Portuguese-, Spanish- and Italian-speaking countries, among others, it is known as Carnival (to use the English spelling). This derives from Medieval Latin carnelevamen ("the putting away of flesh")[20] and thus to another aspect of the Lenten fast, to abstain from eating meat. It is often celebrated with street processions or fancy dress.[18]

The most famous of these events has become the Brazilian Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Venetians have long celebrated carnival with a masquerade.[21] The use of the term "carnival" in other contexts derives from this celebration. In Spain, the Carnival Tuesday is named "día de la tortilla" ("omelette day"): an omelette made with some sausage or pork fat is eaten. On the Portuguese island of Madeira, malasadas are eaten on Terça-feira Gorda (Fat Tuesday in English), which is also the last day of the Carnival of Madeira. Malasadas were cooked in order to use up all the lard and sugar in the house, in preparation for Lenten restrictions.[22] This tradition was taken to Hawaii, where Shrove Tuesday is known as Malasada Day, which dates back to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s. The resident Catholic Portuguese workers (who came mostly from Madeira and the Azores) used up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas.[23]

In Denmark and Norway, the day is known as Fastelavn and is marked by eating fastelavnsboller. Fastelavn is the name for Carnival in Denmark which is either the Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday. Fastelavn developed from the Roman Catholic tradition of celebrating in the days before Lent, but after Denmark became a Protestant nation, the holiday became less specifically religious. This holiday occurs seven weeks before Easter Sunday, with children dressing up in costumes and gathering treats for the Fastelavn feast. The holiday is generally considered to be a time for children's fun and family games.[24]

In Iceland, the day is known as Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and is marked by eating salted meat and peas.[22] In Lithuania, the day is called Užgavėnės. People eat pancakes (blynai) and Lithuanian-style doughnuts.[25][26] In Sweden, the day is called Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday), and is generally celebrated by eating a type of sweet roll called fastlagsbulle or semla.[22] In Finland, the day is called laskiainen and is generally celebrated by eating green pea soup and a pastry called laskiaispulla (sweet bread filled with whipped cream and jam or almond paste, same as the Swedish semla). The celebration often includes downhill sledging. In Estonia, the day is called Vastlapäev and is generally celebrated by eating pea soup and whipped-cream or whipped-cream and jam filled sweet-buns called vastlakukkel, similar to the Swedish fastlagsbulle or semla. Children also typically go sledding on this day.[27]

In Poland, a related celebration falls on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday and is called tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday). In some areas of the United States, with large Polish communities, such as Chicago, Buffalo and Michigan, Tłusty Czwartek is celebrated with pączki or faworki eating contests, music and other Polish food. It may be held on Shrove Tuesday or in the days immediately preceding it.[28]

In Slovenia, Kurentovanje is also the biggest and best known carnival.[29] There are several more local carnivals usually referred to as Laufarija. In Hungary, and the Hungarian-speaking territories, it is called Húshagyókedd[30] (literally the Tuesday leaving the meat) and is celebrated by fancy dress and visiting neighbours.


Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent, because they are a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasizes eating simpler food, and refraining from food that would give undue pleasure: in many cultures, this means no meat, dairy products, or eggs.[31]

In Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail indicates that they will become or marry a carpenter.[32][33]


A pancake race in the UK

In the United Kingdom, as part of community celebration, many towns held traditional Shrove Tuesday "mob football" games, some dating as far back as the 17th century. The practice mostly died out in the 19th century after the passing of the Highway Act 1835 which banned playing football on public highways.[34] A number of towns have maintained the tradition, including Alnwick in Northumberland (Scoring the Hales),[35] Ashbourne in Derbyshire (called the Royal Shrovetide Football),[36] Atherstone in Warwickshire (called simply the Atherstone Ball Game),[37] St Columb Major in Cornwall (called Hurling the Silver Ball), and Sedgefield in County Durham.[38]

Shrove Tuesday was once known as a "half-holiday" in Britain. It started at 11:00 am with the ringing of a church bell.[39] On Pancake Day, "pancake races" are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated in 1445 when a housewife from Olney, Buckinghamshire, was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake, tossing it to prevent it from burning.[40][41] The pancake race remains a relatively common festive tradition in the UK, especially England. Participants with frying pans race through the streets tossing pancakes into the air and catching them in the pan while running.[42] The pancake race at Olney traditionally has women contestants who carry a frying pan and race over a 415-yard course to the finishing line. The rules are strict: contestants must toss the pancake at the start and the finish, and wear a scarf and apron.[40]

Since 1950 the people of Liberal, Kansas, and Olney have held the "International Pancake Day" race between the two towns. The two towns' competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns' competitors are compared to determine a winner overall. After the 2009 race, Liberal was leading with 34 wins to Olney's 25.[43] A similar race is held in North Somercotes in Lincolnshire, England.[44]

Scarborough celebrates by closing the foreshore to all traffic, closing schools early, and inviting all to skip. Traditionally, long ropes were used from the nearby harbour. The town crier rang the pancake bell, situated on the corner of Westborough (main street) and Huntriss Row. Since 1996 a replica "pancake bell" situated at Newborough and North Street has been rung to initiate the day's festivities.[45]

The children of the hamlet of Whitechapel, Lancashire keep alive a local tradition by visiting local households and asking "please a pancake", to be rewarded with oranges or sweets. It is thought the tradition arose when farm workers visited the wealthier farm and manor owners to ask for pancakes or pancake fillings.[46]

In Scandinavia, in particular in Finland and Sweden, the day is associated with the almond paste-filled semla sweet roll.[47]

In Finland, the day is known as Laskiainen. It is a celebration with Finnish origins, which includes both pagan and ecclesiastic traditions, and is often described as a "mid-winter sliding festival".[48]

Thin pancakes called blini are traditional in Christian festivals in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia also at this time of year (Maslenitsa).[49]

In London, the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race takes place every Shrove Tuesday, with teams from the British lower house (the House of Commons), the upper house (the House of Lords), and the Fourth Estate, contending for the title of Parliamentary Pancake Race Champions. The fun relay race is to raise awareness of Rehab, which provides a range of health and social care, training, education, and employment services in the UK for disabled people and others who are marginalised.[50]


Lent calendar
Shrove Tuesday and other named days and day ranges around Lent and Easter in Western Christianity, with the fasting days of Lent numbered

Shrove Tuesday is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on the cycles of the moon. The date can be any between 3 February and 9 March inclusive.

Shrove Tuesday occurs on these dates:[51]

2019 – March 5
2020 – February 25
2021 – February 16
2022 – March 1
2023 – February 21
2024 – February 13
2025 – March 4
2026 – February 17
2027 – February 9
2028 – February 29
2029 – February 13
2030 – March 5
2031 – February 25
2032 – February 10
2033 – March 1
2034 – February 21
2035 – February 6
2036 – February 26
2037 – February 17
2038 – March 9
2039 – February 22
2040 – February 14
2041 – March 5
2042 – February 18
2043 – February 10
2044 – March 1
2045 – February 21
2046 – February 6
2047 – February 26
2048 – February 18
2049 – March 2
2050 – February 22
2051 – February 14
2052 – March 5
2053 – February 18
2054 – February 10
2055 – March 2
2056 – February 15
2057 – March 6
2058 – February 26
2059 – February 11
2060 – March 2
2061 – February 22
2062 – February 7
2063 – February 27
2064 – February 19
2065 – February 10
2066 – February 23
2067 – February 15
2068 – March 6
2069 – February 26
2070 – February 11
2071 – March 3
2072 – February 23
2073 – February 7
2074 – February 27
2075 – February 19
2076 – March 3
2077 – February 23
2078 – February 15
2079 – March 7
2080 – February 20
2081 – February 11
2082 – March 3
2083 – February 16
2084 – February 8
2085 – February 27
2086 – February 12
2087 – March 4
2088 – February 24
2089 – February 15
2090 – February 28
2091 – February 20
2092 – February 12
2093 – February 24
2094 – February 16
2095 – March 8
2096 – February 28
2097 – February 12
2098 – March 4
2099 – February 24
2100 – February 9

See also


  1. ^ Melitta Weiss Adamson; Francine Segan (2008). Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0313086892. In Anglican countries, Mardis Gras is known as Shrove Tuesday-from shrive meaning "confess"-or Pancake Tuesday-after the breakfast food that symbolizes one final hearty meal of eggs, butter, and sugar before the fast. On Ash Wednesday, the morning after Mardi Gras, repentant Christians return to church to receive upon the forehead the sign of the cross in ashes.
  2. ^ Walker, Katie (2011). Shrove Tuesday inspires unique church traditions. Archived 14 February 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Provine, Darren (2014). Shrove Tuesday
  4. ^ "Shrovetide". Catholic Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b Self, David (1993). One Hundred Readings for Assembly. Heinemann. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-435-80041-3.
  6. ^ a b Collins, Tony; Martin, John; Vamplew, Wray (2005). Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports. Psychology Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0415352246. The association between pancakes and Shrove Tuesday appears to have its origins in the fact that the pancakes used up food such as butter, eggs and fat that were prohibited during Lent, which begins the following day on Ash Wednesday. ... Pancakes have been eaten on Shrove Tuesday since at least the sixteenth century. In some parishes it was the custom for the church bell to ring at noon as the signal for people to begin frying their pancakes.
  7. ^ Stephens, Valerie. Basic Philosophy. p. 21. ISBN 978-1329951747. Then there is Shrove Tuesday, which is the day observed before Ash Wednesday or Lent. Shrove Tuesday derives from the days where the earliest practicing Christians would repent of their sins and be "shriven" or pardoned.
  8. ^ Cocks, Alfred Heneage (1897). The church bells of Buckinghamshire: their inscriptions, founders, and uses, and traditions; &c. Jarrold & sons. p. 276.
  9. ^ Pulleyn, William (1828). The Etymological Compendium, Or Portfolio of Origins and Inventions. Richard Griffin and Company. p. 192.
  10. ^ "Catholic Encyclopedia: Shrovetide". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Day!". Irish Culture and Customs. Archived from the original on 9 December 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  13. ^ "Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) in the UK". British Embassy, Washington DC. Archived from the original on 23 February 2007. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  14. ^ "Easter in Australia". The Australian Government Culture and Recreation Portal. Archived from the original on 7 October 2006. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Love Life Live Lent Family Book: Transform Your World. Church House Publishing. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7151-4182-3. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  17. ^ Shoemaker, Alfred Lewis (2000). Eastertide in Pennsylvania: A Folk-cultural Study. Stackpole Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8117-0548-6. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  18. ^ a b Spicer, Dorothy Gladys (1973). Festivals of Western Europe. Library of Alexandria. ISBN 978-1-4655-7999-7. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Güdeldienstag". Duden. Archived from the original on 23 February 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  20. ^ American Heritage Dictionary
  21. ^ "History of Venice Carnival". Oltrex. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  22. ^ a b c "This is what people eat on Shrove Tuesday around the world". Metro. 26 February 2016. Archived from the original on 27 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  23. ^ "Malasada Day". Leonard's Bakery. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  24. ^ "Fastelavn celebration". Danish Home of Chicago. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  25. ^ "Užgavėnės". Lithuanian Music Hall Association. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  26. ^ "The Shrove Festival (February)". visit Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  27. ^ Complete Estonian: Teach Yourself. Hachette. 2012. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-444-17349-9. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  28. ^ [1] Archived 16 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ Isalaska, Anita (4 March 2015). "10 Reasons to Visit Slovenia in 2015". CNN. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  30. ^ Amon, Ildi (27 January 2015). "Explainer: Farsang celebrations in Hungary". Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  31. ^ "The Fasting Rule of the Orthodox Church". Archived from the original on 8 August 2017.
  32. ^ "Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage". Archived from the original on 8 March 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
  33. ^ "Its Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day". Cape Breton Post. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014.
  34. ^ Polley, Martin (2013). The British Olympics: Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612–2012. English Heritage. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-848-02226-3.
  35. ^ "Hundreds gather for Alnwick Shrovetide game". BBC News. 17 February 2015. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  36. ^ "Ashbourne Shrovetide Football: Up'Ards take honours on first day". BBC News. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Dive for cover – it's the Atherstone Ball Game!". BBC News. Archived from the original on 7 November 2015. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  38. ^ "Shrove Tuesday events". The Daily Telegraph. 3 March 2014. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  39. ^ "Cooks Guide". Cooks Guide. Archived from the original on 4 April 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  40. ^ a b "The origin of pancake racing". Archived from the original on 5 March 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  41. ^ "Olney Pancake Race". Archived from the original on 29 July 2015. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
  42. ^ Tony Collins; John Martin; Wray Vamplew, eds. (2005). Encyclopedia of Traditional British Rural Sports. Psychology Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-415-35224-6. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017.
  43. ^ "Liberal wins 60th Int'l Pancake race". United Press International (UPI). Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  44. ^ "Welcome to Our Village". North Somercoates Parish Council. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  45. ^ "Skipping Day 2015". Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  46. ^ (7 February 2008), "Pancake traditions in village" Archived 28 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Longridge News, accessed 16 June 2010
  47. ^ "Lent Buns (Semlor)". Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  48. ^ Laskiainen, Finnish-American Cultural Activities.
  49. ^ "Maslenitsa". Archived from the original on 5 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  50. ^ "MPs had a pancake race and it got a bit rowdy". Metro. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 28 February 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2017.
  51. ^ "Mardi Gras Dates". 30 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 February 2015. Retrieved 28 February 2014.

External links

August Strindberg Repertory Theatre

The August Strindberg Repertory Theatre is the resident company at the Gene Frankel Theatre.

Candlemas Island

Candlemas Island is a small uninhabited island of the Candlemas Islands in the South Sandwich Islands. It lies about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Vindication Island, separated by the Nelson Channel.

On the northwest flank of the island is an active stratovolcano, Lucifer Hill, that showed signs of activity in 1911 and glowing lava flows during 1953–1954. Mount Andromeda and Mount Perseus are both glacier-covered peaks on the island. Mount Andromeda is the island's highest point, with an elevation of 550 metres (1,804 ft).

The island's southeast point is called Shrove Point (57°4′S 26°39′W). It was named by Discovery Investigations personnel on the Discovery II because they charted it on Shrove Tuesday, March 4, 1930.Candlemas Island is the setting of a novel by Ian Cameron, The White Ship (1975), which tells of a disastrous expedition to the island in 1975 where members of the expedition must contend with ghosts of Spaniards shipwrecked on the island in 1818.

Carnival of Madeira

The Carnival of Madeira (Carnaval in Portuguese) is an annual festival held forty days before Easter, that ends on Shrove Tuesday (called Fat Tuesday in Madeira - Terça-feira Gorda in Portuguese) the day before Ash Wednesday (first day of Lent). On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry, hence the term "carnival," from carnelevare, "to remove (literally, "raise") meat."

Cock throwing

Cock throwing, also known as cock-shying or throwing at cocks, was a blood sport widely practised in England until the late 18th century. A rooster was tied to a post, and people took turns throwing coksteles (special weighted sticks) at the bird until it died. Cock throwing was traditionally associated with Shrove Tuesday; a contributor to The Gentleman's Magazine in 1737, during an anti-Gallican phase of British culture, was of the opinion that cock throwing arose from traditional enmity towards the French, for which the cock played an emblematic role.Cock throwing was a popular pastime with people of all classes, especially with children, and although widespread, was less common than cockfighting. Sir Thomas More referred to his skill in casting a cokstele as a boy. If the bird had its legs broken or was lamed during the event, it was sometimes supported with sticks in order to prolong the game. The cock was also sometimes placed inside an earthenware jar to prevent it from moving. Variations on the theme included goose quailing (or squailing), when a goose was substituted, and cock thrashing or cock whipping, which involved a cock being placed in a pit where the blindfolded participants would attempt to hit it with their sticks. A Sussex variation was similar to bull-baiting with the rooster tied to a 4-or-5-foot-long (1.2 or 1.5 m) cord.

In 1660, an official pronouncement by Puritan officials in Bristol to forbid cock throwing (as well as cat and dog tossing) on Shrove Tuesday resulted in a riot by the apprentices.Cock throwing's popularity slowly waned in England, as social values changed and animal welfare became a concern. William Hogarth depicted it as a barbarous activity, the first stage in a "slippery slope", in The Four Stages of Cruelty in 1751, and Nathan Drake credited this in part for changes in public attitudes to the sport. The Anglican divine and political economist Josiah Tucker also dismissed the sport as a "most cruel and barbarous diversion' in his 'Earnest and Affectionate Address to the Common People of England Concerning their Usual Recreations on Shrove Tuesday' (1753), drawing attention to the suffering and 'lingering tortures' of a 'poor innocent creature'. From the middle of the 18th century, magistrates began to deal with the problem more harshly, a marker of its loss in popularity among the "respectable" classes, imposing fines for public order offences, and local by-laws banned the practice in many places.

By the early 19th century, the tradition was all but forgotten, lingering as isolated incidents into the 1840s.


Crempog (plural: crempogau) is a Welsh pancake made with flour, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar and salted butter. Traditionally made on bakestones or griddles, crempog is one of the oldest recipes in Wales. They are also known as ffroes, pancos and cramoth and are normally served thickly piled into a stack and spread with butter. It is traditionally served at celebrations in Wales, such as Shrove Tuesday and birthdays.

Fasnacht (doughnut)

Fasnacht (also spelled fastnacht, faschnacht, fosnot, fosnaught, fausnaught) is a fried doughnut of German origin served traditionally in the days of Carnival and Fastnacht or on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent starts. Fasnachts were made as a way to empty the pantry of lard, sugar, fat, and butter, which were traditionally fasted from during Lent.


The Gilles are the oldest and principal participants in the Carnival of Binche in Belgium. They go out on Shrove Tuesday from 4 am until late hours and dance to traditional songs. Other cities, such as La Louvière, have a tradition of Gilles at carnival, but the Carnival of Binche is by far the most famous. In 2003, the Carnival of Binche was proclaimed one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

Imperial College School of Medicine

Imperial College School of Medicine (ICSM) is the medical school of Imperial College London in England, and one of the United Hospitals. It was formed by the merger of several historic medical schools, and has core campuses at South Kensington, St Mary's Hospital, London, Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. The school ranked 4th in the world for medicine in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.


A malasada (Portuguese: malassada, from "mal-assada" = "under-cooked") (similar to filhós) is a Portuguese confection. It is a fried type of doughnut, made of small balls of yeast dough, coated with granulated sugar. The traditional portuguese malasadas don't contain holes or any type of filling, but some variations, specially the ones made in Hawaii, brought by the Portuguese. Malasadas are eaten especially on Mardi Gras - the day before Ash Wednesday.

In Madeira and in the Azores, malasadas are mainly eaten on Terça-feira Gorda (“Fat Tuesday” in English; Mardi Gras in French) which is also the day before Lent begins. It's a traditional confection eaten in the Azores islands and in Madeira, during the Portuguese Carnival (Carnival of Madeira in the Madeira Islands). Malasadas were created with the intention of using all the lard and sugar in one's home, in preparation for Lent (similar to the tradition of the Shrove Tuesday in the United Kingdom, commonly incorrectly called Pancake Day). This tradition was taken to Hawaii, where they celebrate Shrove Tuesday, known as Malasada Day, which dates back to the days of the sugarcane plantations of the 19th century, when the Portuguese (mostly from Madeira and the Azores) went to Hawaii to work in those plantations, bringing their catholic traditions. These workers used up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas.

Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras (), or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany (Three Kings Day) and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday (known as Shrove Tuesday). Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday", reflecting the practice of the last night of eating rich, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.

Related popular practices are associated with Shrovetide celebrations before the fasting and religious obligations associated with the penitential season of Lent. In countries such as the United Kingdom, Mardi Gras is also known as Shrove Tuesday, which is derived from the word shrive, meaning "to administer the sacrament of confession to; to absolve".


A semla, vastlakukkel, laskiaispulla or fastlagsbulle/fastelavnsbolle is a traditional sweet roll made in various forms in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, associated with Lent and especially Shrove Tuesday in most countries, Shrove Monday in Denmark, parts of southern Sweden and Iceland or Sunday of Fastelavn in Norway. In Sweden it is most commonly known as just semla (plural: semlor), but is also known as fettisdagsbulle (fat tuesday roll). In the southern parts of Sweden, as well as in Swedish-speaking Finland, it is known as fastlagsbulle (plural: fastlagsbullar; semla on the other hand means a plain wheat bun with butter, called "fralla" in Sweden). In Norway and Denmark it is called fastelavnsbolle. In Iceland, it's known as a bolla and served on Bolludagur. Semla served in a bowl of hot milk is hetvägg.


Septuagesima (; in full, Septuagesima Sunday) is the name for the ninth Sunday before Easter, the third before Ash Wednesday. The term is sometimes applied to the seventy days starting on Septuagesima Sunday and ending on the Saturday after Easter. Alternatively, the term is sometimes applied also to the period commonly called Shrovetide or Gesimatide (the Pre-Lenten Season) that begins on this day and ends on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.

The other two Sundays in this period of the liturgical year are called Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, the latter sometimes also called Shrove Sunday. The earliest date on which Septuagesima Sunday can occur is January 18 (Easter falling on March 22 in a non-leap year) and the latest is February 22 (Easter falling on April 25 in a leap year).

Shrove Monday

Shrove Monday, sometimes known as Collopy Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday, is a Christian observance falling on the Monday before Ash Wednesday every year. A part of the English traditional Shrovetide celebrations of the week before Lent, the Monday precedes Shrove Tuesday. As the Monday before Ash Wednesday, it is part of diverse Carnival celebrations which take place in many parts of the Christian world, from Greece, to Germany, to the Mardi Gras and Carnival of the Americas.

Shrove Tuesday (short story)

"Shrove Tuesday" (Russian: Накануне поста, romanized: Nakanune posta, in literal translation, "A day before Lent") is an 1887 short story by Anton Chekhov.

Shrove Tuesday Football Ceremony of the Purbeck Marblers

The Shrove Tuesday Football Ceremony of the Purbeck Marblers is a series of events dating back many years which take place in Corfe Castle, Dorset. The events occur on the date that new apprentices are introduced to the Company of Marblers and Stonecutters of Purbeck. The freemen gather in the Fox Inn West Street where they wait till Corfe Church chimes at twelve noon, where they make their way into the Town Hall, which is reputedly the smallest town hall in the country. Any apprentices wishing to be admitted into the order wait in the Fox Inn.

In the town hall names of attendance are taken, apologies are made on behalf of the absent, the minutes of the last annual general meeting are read and any new apprentices wishing to become freemen of the order, that fit the necessary criteria, are nominated and seconded, after which a vote is taken to decide if each of the applicants are accepted. From the Fox Inn, the successful apprentices are called to the Town Hall with a quart of beer and a penny loaf to pay their "dues", then successful applicants are welcomed as freemen of the order, after which a closed ceremony is held for the company.

A photo taken in 1935 shows 22 members of the company with their chaplain, the rector of Corfe Castle, on Shrove Tuesday, 1935. In the background is the Fox Inn.

From Corfe, marble was carted the three miles across Rempstone Heath to Ower Quay on Poole harbour, a timber wharf deserted today with a few weathered blocks of marble left from the past. Their annual gathering and elections are held at the Town Hall, Corfe, on Shrove Tuesday and one custom is to kick a football round the boundary of Corfe. The ball is never touched by hand and is just trundled along. The route is followed in order to preserve the old right of way along which the quarried stone was transported. Finally, at Ower farm, a pound of pepper is delivered to the occupants of the farm by the new apprentices or most junior freemen as rent for the tolling rights to the quay. A section of the track is known as Peppercorn Lane.

An article published in Dorset Life claimed the following:"Outrage! In 1992 a young police constable, on temporary secondment from the North of England and ignorant of the 700-year-old Shrove Tuesday custom, confiscated the football which the company of Purbeck Marblers and Stone-cutters were kicking through the streets of Corfe Castle."


Shrovetide, also known as the Pre-Lenten Season, is the Christian period of preparation before the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent. Shrovetide starts on Septuagesima Sunday, includes Sexagesima Sunday, Quinquagesima Sunday (commonly called Shrove Sunday), as well as Shrove Monday, and culminates on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras. One hallmark of Shrovetide is the merrymaking associated with Carnival. On the final day of the season, Shrove Tuesday, many traditional Christians, such as Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."

To the Queen

"To the Queen" (or "To The Queen by the players") is a short 18 line poem praising Queen Elizabeth I attributed to William Shakespeare. It was included in 2007 by Jonathan Bate in his complete Shakespeare edition for the Royal Shakespeare Company.The poem, described by Bate as having been written on "the back of an envelope", was probably composed as an epilogue for a performance of a play in the presence of the queen. Bate believes it was created to be read after As You Like It was given at court on Shrove Tuesday in February 1599. American scholars William Ringler and Steven May discovered the poem in 1972 in the notebook of a man called Henry Stanford, who is known to have worked in the household of the Lord Chamberlain. Other scholars have since contested the attribution to Shakespeare.

Westminster Hospital Medical School

The Westminster Hospital Medical School was formally founded in 1834 by George Guthrie, an ex-military surgeon – although students had been taken on at Westminster Hospital almost from the hospital's foundation in 1719 (the traditional name at the Westminster was "cubs").The hospital and medical school moved to larger buildings several times in the decades that followed, leading to conflict among the staff on several occasions. Guthrie's forceful urgings on retaining the location of the hospital and school on one occasion resulted in an argument climaxing in a pistol duel between two surgeons (though each missed each other).One early Westminster student was John Snow, later the founder of modern epidemiology.

In 1905, the teaching of pre-clinical subjects ended at Westminster, and moved to King's College. The school was taken over by the army in 1914 to train pathologists for the war effort. Student numbers and the school suffered as a result, and it was only after 1920 that numbers improved.

In 1984, Westminster Hospital Medical School merged with local rivals Charing Cross Hospital Medical School to form Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School. This move was part of a general series of mergers in the London medical schools in the early 1980s. Westminster Hospital moved to the site of St Stephen's Hospital on Fulham Road in Chelsea in 1993, and changed its name to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. In 1997, CXWMS merged with the National Heart and Lung Institute at the Royal Brompton Hospital, and Imperial College London, whose medical department was St Mary's Hospital Medical School. The new institution was called Imperial College School of Medicine, and was at the time the largest medical school in the UK.

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