It's Shrove Tuesday--the day before Lent begins. Or you can call it Mardi Gras or Carnival or Fat Tuesday or Pancake Day or Last Chance Winter Dance.Â Lent is traditionally a time of self-discipline, fasting, reflection and prayer. So, today is the last day to live it up before Ash Wednesday.
The name Shrove Tuesday comes from the custom of ringing the "shriving bell" to summon people to church to be "shriven," that is, to confess their sins at the beginning of Lent. Rich foods (eggs, meat, milk, butter) were given up during Lent. One way to use up all those ingredients was to make...pancakes. Bust out the syrup before you are shriven.