Shrovetide refers to the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, formerly a time when confessions were made in preparation for Lent.
The word shrove is past tense of the English verb “shrive” which means to grant absolution to a penitent by means of confession and penance. Anglo-Saxon Christians still receive absolution before Lent.
Quinquagesima or Shrove Sunday: The Sunday before Lent.
Quinquagesima originates from the Latin quinquagesimus meaning fiftieth, referring to the fifty days before Easter Day. Sexagesima and Septuagesima Sundays (sixtieth and seventieth respectively) were eliminated in the reforms following the Second Vatican Council. The earliest Quinquagesima Sunday can occur is February 1st and the latest is March 7th.
Shrove Monday: The Monday before Lent.
Also known as Collop Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday, and Hall Monday. Collop Monday comes from eating the traditional dish of collops of bacon served with eggs. (A collop is slice of meat.) Known as Rosenmontag (Rose Monday), it is the peak of German Carnival. In Iceland, Bun Day is celebrated.
Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday: The Tuesday before Lent.
Different countries have different names for this day. Popular names include Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Tłusty Czwartek, Fasnacht Day, and Tuesday of Carnival. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Shrovetide. During Lent rich foods are not eaten; therefore the day before pancakes, donuts and other treats are cooked to use up the ingredients in the house.
In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada, and in parts of the United States, Shrove Tuesday is known as Pancake Tuesday. Pancakes are eaten with a sprinkling of sugar, and they are served with syrup. Pancake races are held in villages and towns in the United Kingdom.
In Iceland, it is Sprengidagur. It means “Bursting Day” and salted meat and bean stew is the food of the day.
photo courtesy of Lestalorm, wikipedia.org