17 February 2010

Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday

Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday), marks the end of the festive time--Carnival--after the Epiphany and before the fasting and prayer season of Lent. In English-speaking countries, it was often called Shrove Tuesday. "Shrove" is the past tense of "shrive," meaning to confess and obtain absolution. (You can also say "shrived.") Partridge says that "shrive" is from the Old English "scrifan" meaning to prescribe a penance on. So if you haven't done your penance, you better hop to it. It is Ash Wednesday after all--no more partying until Easter!

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