Preparing for Lent - Shrove Tuesday
Today we celebrate Shrove Tuesday
Shrove is the past tense of the word strive, which means to hear a confession, assign penance, and absolve from sin. In the Middle Ages it became custom to confess one's sins on the day before Lent began in order to enter the penitential season in the right spirit.
In the middle ages, during Lent Christians abstained from all meat and items that came from animals, including butter, eggs, cheese, and fat. So it became traditional to use up all these food types before lent started.
This is why Shrove Tuesday became known as Mardi Gras, the French term for Fat Tuesday - it was the day when all the rich foods that would not be eaten over lent would be used up
In countries that speak languages derived primarily from Latin (such as French or Spanish) Shrovetide is also known as Carnivale—literally, "farewell to meat."
In English speaking countries, Shrive Tuesday became known as Pancake Day, because Christians used up their eggs, butter and milk to make pancakes and other pastries.