Everything you need to know about Shrove Tuesday

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Tuesday as it is often referred to, is traditionally a feasting day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

Shrove Tuesday will be celebrated across the world on 13 February. It is the last day of indulgence before the Catholic faithful move into Lent -  the 40-day period of abstinence that marks the lead-up to Easter.

Why is the day called Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving that Christians used to undergo in the past. In shriving, a person confesses their sins and receives absolution for them. When a person receives absolution for their sins, they are forgiven and released from the guilt and pain they may have caused prior to Lent.

Why do Catholics eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?

The tradition has to do with using up rich and perishable ingredients, such as butter, eggs and milk, before Ash Wednesday - the traditional beginning of the Lent fasting period that leads up to Easter.

How is Shrove Tuesday celebrated around the world?

In Korea, they eat Kimchi pancakes – a savoury pancake dish which is popular year round in Korea. As with most Korean recipes, you can tweak Kimchi pancakes to your own tastes with the addition of other vegetables, meat or seafood.

Try this Kimchi pancake recipe as part of this year’s Shrove Tuesday celebrations.

Sweet and sour comes together in Russia with pancakes made from Quark (fresh cow’s milk) and topped with sour cream and caramelised apples – known as Syrniki.

Try this Quark pancake recipe this year for Shrove Tuesday.

In Lebanon, they enjoy Katayef. Think of these little pancakes as soft, sweet, tacos – filled with walnuts and cream.

Try this Katayef pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

Canada is famous for their delicious pancakes – usually accompanied with bacon and topped with the quintessential Canadian topping – 100% pure maple syrup.

Indulge in this maple-bacon pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

Kaiserschmarm is more than just a mouthful to say. This enormous, soft, sugary pancake from Austria is usually cut up and served to share, and topped with stewed plums.

Try this Austrian pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

The French are the undisputed crepe champions, perfecting the art of these super thin pancakes that can be served sweet or savoury.

Try this easy crepe recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

In North Africa, pancake day is celebrated with Baghrir – semolina pancakes with honey butter and honeycomb. This is a popular breakfast food in Algeria and Morocco.

Try this Moroccan Baghrir pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

The Finnish enjoy stinging nettle pancakes – or nokkosletut. Stinging nettles have to be picked and handled with gloves or tongs, otherwise they will leave you with a rash. However, once they’re boiled, they’re completely harmless and similar to spinach in texture.

Try this stinging nettle pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

In the United States, particularly in the South, the day is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras, and feasting includes pancakes along with other rich food and decadent festivities.

Project Compassion Launches on Shrove Tuesday

On Shrove Tuesday, Caritas Australia, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church, will launch its annual Project Compassion appeal.

Each year, Project Compassion runs through the six weeks of Lent to bring together communities across Australia, in solidarity with the world’s poor, to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

To donate to Project Compassion or for fundraising ideas visit www.caritas.org.au/projectcompassion or phone 1800 024 413.

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