Daily Almanac for Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Mardi Gras Day, New Orleans Krewe of Kosmic Debris revelers on Frenchmen Street 2009 photo by By Infrogmation of New Orleans, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

MARDI GRAS/SHROVE TUESDAY

Mardi Gras is French for “fat Tuesday”–the final feasting before the fasting of Lent, which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Fat Tuesday is also called Shrove Tuesday, a name that comes from the practice of shriving–purifying oneself through confession–prior to Lent. Many of the names applied to this day relate to food and eating. In many Latin countries, Mardi Gras is the culmination of the carnival season of revelry and feasting. (Carnival from the Latin carnem levare, means to take meat away.) Among the Pennsylvania Dutch, this Tuesday is Fastnacht (fast night), and everyone enjoys the traditional fastnachtkuchen, a rectangular doughnut with a slit in the middle. For the English, Shrove Tuesday is also called Pancake Day, as they use up the cooking fats that are forbidden during Lent. Check out the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s very own Shrove Tuesday Pancakes recipe (search on our Web site, www.almanac.com)

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COURTESY www.almanac.com

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