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Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent which is the period of 40 days leading up to Easter and the remembrance of Christ’s death on the cross and the celebration of his resurrection.The word ‘shrove’ comes from the old practice of being ‘shriven’ – meaning to confess one’s sins and receive absolution from a priest. The shriving bell would be rung on Shrove Tuesday to call people to church to confess. Lent is a period of penitence and abstinence from eating rich foods. This is why people in many countries have traditions of eating up rich foods on Shrove Tuesday. Here we eat pancakes to use up milk, butter and flour and perhaps other luxury ingredients, in Venice they eat little doughnuts called fritole, in Estonia hernesupp a mix of yellow split peas, and pork is eaten, in Rio de Janeiro they eat feijoada a black bean stew with pork and beef. Eating of meat and dairy was forbidden during lent. Today some Christians give up a particular food they enjoy for lent as a form of discipline. The period of 40 days relates to Jesus fasting and being tempted by the devil in the desert for 40 days before the start of his ministry. The 6 sundays during lent are not counted however because for Christians every Sunday is a feast days because every Sunday we celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

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