Super Shrove Tuesday
In French areas of the world, today is Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday"), and in Latin America it is Carnaval (not "Carnival"). At this very moment in Brazil, hundreds or even thousands of scantily-clad dancers are ecstatically parading through the streets like there's no tomorrow. (But there is a tomorrow, Ash Wednesday, and that's the point.) In England and in churches belonging to the Anglican Communion, today is known as Shrove Tuesday, or sometimes "Pancake Day." This is explained by the Web site of Woodlands Junior School, Kent, England. I remember pancake suppers at church when I was very young, and this evening Jacqueline and I joined in that ritual. "Fat Tuesday," indeed!
From that Web site I learned that "shrove" means to confess, as Christians begin the season of Lent by examining themselves and "cleaning up their acts," so to speak. Lent begins very early this year, because of the way Easter is determined, based on lunar cycles. For more information on the obscure church calendar, see the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Web site.