Shrove Tuesday began the 40 days of Lent

This week, February 21st – 24th, has been the beginning of the long tradition of Lent that begins with Shrove Tuesday commonly known as Pancake day.

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday dates back to the 16th century for many Christians. Pancakes are associated with Shrove Tuesday, the day preceding the beginning of Lent, because they are a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent.

It was traditional in many societies to eat pancakes or other foods made with the butter, eggs and fat or lard that would need to be used up before the beginning of Lent.

In Southampton and Port Elgin, two pancake suppers were held – at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Southampton and SouthPort Pentecostal Church in Port Elgin.

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St. Paul’s Anglican Church Southampton

SouthPort Pentecostal Church Port Elgin

Shrove Tuesday, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, which this year was February 22nd.

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), observed by Catholic and many Protestant denominations, is a celebration to eat sweets such as pancakes, repent one’s sins and to contemplate on things to forgo through the 40-day Lenten season.

The pattern of fasting and praying for forty days is seen in the Christian Bible and is the basis on which Lent was established.

According to Christian religions, Lent commemorates the 40 days that Jesus Christ spent fasting in the desert and enduring temptations by Satan, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry.

For many, fasting during Lent means eating simpler food, and refraining from more delectable foods such as meat, dairy products, eggs, chocolate or sweets and alcohol.

Lent is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Church of the East, United Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions of Christianity.

Ash Wednesday always falls on the Wednesday six and a half weeks before Easter, which Christians around the world believe is the day that Jesus Christ was resurrected.