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Shrove Tuesday 2024

Authored by Katherine Waite
Published on 13th February, 2024 1 min read

Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday is a key event in the Christian calendar, which takes place every year before the commencement of Lent (the 40-day period leading up to Easter). For many Christians, the date is marked by the ritual burning of the previous year’s Holy Week palms, participating in confession and absolution, and eating pancakes.

Traditionally, Lent is a time of sacrifice, when it is customary to abstain from certain activities, such as eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol, smoking, using social media, or watching television. Accordingly, Shrove Tuesday is often regarded as a day of celebration: the last opportunity for indulgence before Christians begin their Lenten sacrifices.

Observers mark the occasion by eating pancakes; an effective means of using up luxury ingredients such as eggs and sugar. Today, Shrove Tuesday – also known as “Pancake Tuesday”, “Pancake Day” or Mardi Gras – is celebrated in many countries, by Christians and non-Christians alike. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras (or “Fat Tuesday”) is a particularly important event, constituting the climax of the annual Carnival season, when revellers enjoy parades, music, and excellent food.

Authored by Katherine Waite

Katherine Waite

Katherine Waite is Head of Publishing at British Online Archives. Katherine studied History at Newcastle University, graduating in 2016. She has worked in the editorial and content teams at British Online Archives. As Head of Publishing she is currently working on curating a collection on the history of pandemic disease in the United Kingdom.

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Notable Days


The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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