The word Shrove comes from the Old English word Shrive – to confess one’s sins. The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday, which is marked in the Western Christian Church by services of penitence.
The reason we indulge in pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is because they contain fat, butter and eggs, all of which used to be forbidden during Lent. These days, participants tend to give up less vital dietary ingredients such as chocolate or coffee.
(Translation: Pancake day is an opportunity to gorge yourself silly before 40 days of abstinence).
Speaking of last hurrahs, in New Orleans Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as the extravagant Mardi Gras carnival (translating literally as Fat Tuesday in French). And those guys know a thing or two about partying...
16 International Takes On The Mighty Pancake