Shrove Tuesday is a term associated in English-speaking countries, especially Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of the United States for the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of the season of fasting and prayer called Lent.
In the United Kingdom and many other countries, the day is often known as Pancake Day. Making and eating such foods was considered a last feast with ingredients such as sugar, fat and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.
Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
There are traditionally forty days in Lent which are marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigour during Lent are prayer (justice towards God), fasting (justice towards self), and almsgiving (justice towards neighbour). Today, some people give up a vice of theirs, add something that will bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
Extracted from Wikipedia
Let’s say that in terms of religious celebrations, I’m a bit useless. Ok, I’m a bit useless for lots of things, but let’s focus here.
Yesterday was Mr. J’s birthday (photos to come) and also Pancake Day. It was the first time ever I heard of Pancake Day, even after more than 4 years leaving in the UK. No, I didn’t have pancake – went for a burger instead since we went to an American Diner (are there non-American diners?), but maybe next year?
Today is Ash Wednesday. For me, it was always the last day of a long holiday, the last day of carnival and when the samba school winner was announced. Now, colleagues at work decided to “celebrate” Lent and give up something collectively. I don’t like the expression “give up”, especially because I don’t have any serious vice. It sounds more like a failure to me. Anyway, this year I decided to give it a go – I won’t fast, cut red meat or do anything extreme – I can’t anyway. I don’t have anything interesting to give up – I don’t smoke, I’m not drinking. So what’s the plan? Partially give up chocolate and bad sugar. Partially because I’ve decided I won’t give up anything 100% in my life – something will always be there, good or bad. So, 40 days having at least 50% less consumption of chocolate and other sweets, replaced by fruits or water. It’s a good compromise I guess. Let’s see where this goes.