What is the significance of Fat Tuesday?
“Mardi Gras” is French for “Fat Tuesday,” and that this festive occasion is the last day before the Catholic observance of Lent.
Lent is a period of penitence before Easter. In the early Christian Church, the ritual of baptism was primarily performed on Easter Sunday, and people would fast and pray for several days or more before they were baptized. This practice and similar traditions grew into the Lent season that lasts 40 days before Easter. In the Middle Ages, faithful Christians eliminated meat, eggs, milk, and other luxurious foods from their diet during Lent, and spent additional time in prayer. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, so named because priests place an ash mark on worshippers’ foreheads to symbolize mortality.
Human nature being what it is, people began holding indulgent pre-Lent celebrations at an early date. The word “carnival” comes from the Latin for “farewell to flesh” — so Carnival (another name for Mardi Gras) can be seen as a time to say good-bye to fleshly pleasures that will soon be denied. Early Christians in Rome used the old pagan festivals as a model for their Carnival, and European Christians continued the celebration. The day before Ash Wednesday became known as Fat Tuesday because people indulged in the meat and fatty foods that they would forsake during Lent.
Fat Tuesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday. The word “shrove” is derived from the Latin scribere, meaning “to prescribe penance,” a fitting description for the day before Lent. Pancakes somehow became associated with this day, perhaps because people needed to use up the eggs and lard that were forbidden during Lent.
Because the date of Fat Tuesday is determined by the date of Easter (calculated on the lunar calendar), it falls on a different date between February 3 and March 9 every year. This handy calculator will help you mark future dates of Mardi Gras on your calendar so you never miss another Carnival.
Article Source: Yahoo.comPosted under Promos, Tips by Johnny