Shrove Tuesday  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Shrove Tuesday is a term used in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia for the day preceding the first day of the Christian season of fasting and prayer called Lent.

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the shriving that English Christians were expected to do prior to receiving absolution immediately before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of "shrovetide", somewhat analogous to the Carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe. The term "Shrove Tuesday" is no longer widely known in the United States outside of Liturgical Traditions, such as the Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic Churches. Because of the increase in many immigrant populations and traditions since the 19th century "Mardi Gras" is much more widely-used.

The festival is widely associated with the eating of foods such as pancakes, and often known simply as Pancake Day, originally because these used up ingredients such as fat and eggs, the consumption of which was traditionally restricted during Lent.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Shrove Tuesday" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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