Most of the world knows when (and what) Mardi Gras is… the literal translation, Fat Tuesday (thank you 4 years of high school french!). It IS the day before Lent begins, and the *lesser known* day we call Shrove Tuesday.
Lent is observed in the Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Oriental Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholic Churches. According to some sources, there also may be Anabaptist and evangelical churches that also observe the Lenten season. As an overview Lent is the 40 days before Easter.
Homeschool Holiday will present more about Lent in future posts.
Mardi Gras, the day before Lent begins, was historically used as a day to use up all the food stores, as Lent is a time of fasting.
In the Catholic church, Shrove Tuesday is observed. The name SHROVE comes from the old middle English word “shriven”. That word means to go to confession. (To apologise for the wrongs/sins you have committed, and enter Lent with a pure heart).
Because Lent always starts on a Wednesday (Ash Wednesday) the parishioners went to confession on Tuesday. That day became known as “Shriven Tuesday” or Confession Tuesday.
The other *lesser known* name for this day is Pancake Day. This comes from the custom of using up all the fattening ingredients in the house before Lent began. Historically, that meant eggs and milk. When you add eggs, milk and flour – you get pancakes!
Perhaps you can incorporate a new tradition into your Mardi Gras celebration, regardless of any religious affiliation and enjoy Pancakes on this wonderful Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake Day!
My all time favorite story involving pancakes is PANCAKES FOR BREAKFAST BY Tommie De Paola
You can order it on AMAZON or, The book is available through the website WATCH KNOW LEARN here: (5:48) http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=36579
Mardi Gras celebrations don’t seem complete without a Parade! Be sure to host your own parade – including the floats! You can make easy parade floats out of many recycle materials, including shoe boxes, water jugs, fast food cup holders and more. The only limit is your imagination.
Decorate with feathers, coins, beads, tissue paper and pom, poms!
You can use dolls, stuffed animals or action figures as your parade riders!
I have created a few companion activities for you! Including a comprehension worksheet and answer key for the Tommie dePaola story. The Shrove Tuesday / Mari Gras activity pack also contains great printables you can use for a photo booth or your parade, a coloring page as well as a word search of common Mardi Gras / Shrove Tuesday words… like pancakes, parade and Mardi Gras!
And as usual – I have a GREAT freebie for you… The Jester Hat Craft. Similar to the 3 Kings Day Crown, this hat is sure to be a hit in any parade!
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