Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Folklore - Shrove Tuesday
This first day cover and the stamp on it was issued in Liechtenstein to mark the popular folklore festival of Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday (widely known as Pancake Day) is a day in February or March, preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in many countries by consuming pancakes.
Shrove Tuesday, a moveable feast, is determined by Easter. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess". Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics, who "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."
Being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: in many cultures, this means no meat, dairy products, or eggs.
Colorful masks, elaborate costumes, parades and large crowds are all part of the Carnival festivities, also known as MardiGras, on Shrove Tuesday.Thank you Merja.