Shrove Tuesday – last chance for marriage?
In the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday is the day before the start of Lent and a period of abstinence and fasting for 40 days. The Catholic Church used to ban eating meat, eggs or dairy produce. Every household would use up their eggs, milk, flour and butter, so as not to waste food. Incidentally, the word “Shrove” is the past tense of “Shrive”, which means to confess (as in a sin).
Nowadays, some people will mark the period of Lent by giving up alcohol, or cigarettes, or chocolate for the 40 days of Lent.
In Ireland, marriage used to be forbidden during Lent, so matchmakers used to try to get unmarried girls hitched before Ash Wednesday…. Any families where the daughter remained single used to get her to toss the first pancake – and her skill at this would be linked to her fortune in finding a husband by the next Shrove Tuesday!
Made too many pancakes? Never mind – how about this?!