So it’s Shrove Tuesday, the day before the official start of Lent. As many Christians give up something for the 40 days before Easter, we see many people around the world tucking in to pancakes and rich foods before the fast begins tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday.
Today is certainly a good day for indulging, whether you are religious or not. So let’s see how this tradition varies around the world:
UK – Here in the UK Shrove Tuesday is more commonly known as Pancake Day. These tasty treats conveniently use up rich foods such as milk and eggs, things that are traditionally given up for Lent. Typical fillings include lemon juice and sugar, jam, and melted chocolate. However, it is always wise to start off with a few savoury ones to avoid the dreaded sugar rush!
Poland – In Poland, Shrove Tuesday is known as Sledziowka (sledz is Polish for herring) and they eat herring cooked in various different ways. People often have parties that end at midnight to symbolise the start of Lent. There are also some delicious doughnuts eaten, however this is traditionally on the Thursday before Shrove Tuesday.
Brazil – In Brazil people celebrate Mardi Gras. Typically carnival celebrations happen over 3-4 days and finish on Ash Wednesday. It is a chance to celebrate and indulge before Lent begins. The most famous carnival is in Rio, Brazil where people dress up and Samba around the streets. 2 million people head to Rio each year to witness the infamous carnival and enjoy the atmosphere and culture, not to mention the flamboyant outfits.
Sweden – In Sweden Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) is celebrated. They traditionally eat tasty pastries, and a bun called a Fettisdag buller. It is similar to a butterfly bun, as a section is cut out of the top and the hole is filled with delicious marzipan and whipped cream.
Whatever tempts your taste-buds we hope you enjoy your Shrove Tuesday celebrations, and if you are taking part in Lent, we wish you the best of luck!