St. Paul’s Episcopal Church will host a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. They welcome the community to come join them in the event the day before the beginning of Lent. They are located at the corner of Thomas and A Streets in Altus. Seen holding the banner for the event (left to right) are: Debbie and Ken Augnst, Johnny Jones and Renae Bracken.
Is it Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Carnival? That depends on what language you’re speaking and what part of Europe originated the holiday. It’s usually all the same day, the day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian observance of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period before Easter. Shrove Tuesday
In English-speaking countries, Shrove Tuesday is observed. Foods served during Lent are typically lighter foods, since Lent traditionally includes fasting and reflection (bbc.co.uk). Traditionally, Lenten dishes are meatless or based on fish or seafood. According to Wikipedia, Shrove Tuesday is popular in “Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Germany.” Many of the customs involve pancakes because, before refrigeration, people needed to use up their milk, butter and eggs before Lent (answers.com). Pancake suppers are traditional, and in some parts of England and the U.S. “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday” is celebrated with pancake races, pancake flipping contests and other related contests. IN Newfoundland and Labrador, small tokens are placed in the pancake batter to light-heartedly predict the person’s future. In part of England, people use long jump ropes to get the whole town skipping rope. In other towns, the children go from door-to-door like Trick-or-Treating, but they ask residents for pancakes. Oranges and sweets are often given instead.
In areas where French is spoken, the day is called Mardi Gras, meaning Fat Tuesday. People typically indulged, at least in former times, in more a more fattening fare because they knew they’d deny themselves during Lent. Mardi Gras is celebrated mainly in France and its former colonial possessions. In Quebec City, Quebec, Canada and Louisiana’s New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations reflect their common French cultural heritage. The first Mardi Gras in America was celebrated just south of New Orleans March 3, 1699 (history.com). Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago also celebrate Mardi Gras.
Though Mardi Gras and Carnival have become rather synonymous, in Hispanic lands, “carne levar” means to take away meat. This term came to be Carnival, which is actually older than Mardi Gras. Celebration of Carnival was originally a fertility rite (history.com). Portuguese, Spanish, Italians and Brazilians celebrate Carnival with their own variations. Those in Venice traditionally celebrate Carnevale with a masquerade. The Brazilians are famous for their Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Belgium, part of Germany and the Netherlands also celebrate their own versions of Carnival. Fried breads and pastries made with eggs and butter are commonly served during Carnival in Latin America and the Caribbean (Wikipedia).