Posted on originally on the CTH by Menagerie on February 21, 2023
Today is Fat Tuesday, the culmination of the famous season of Mardi Gras.
Debauchery. Bacchanalia. Floats, costumes, beads and masks, and lots of drinking and partying. That’s what we think of when we hear the term Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.
There is a lot more behind it. Also called Shrove Tuesday, it marks the last day of the liturgical calendar before Lent begins.
After Catholicism spread throughout Europe, many cultures celebrated the final day before Lent began in ways unique to that individual culture. Eggs, and milk were finished off in one day, giving rise to the term Fat Tuesday. In Poland, such things as lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit were forbidden during Lent, and the beloved pączki became a special treat for Fat Tuesday. In Detroit they still sell many thousands of them to long lines of people.
Enjoy your Fat Tuesday, and spare a thought to the next forty days. Why not observe Lent, and use the time to more deeply appreciate Christ’s sacrifice and his love for us?
I am sure you’ve seen people on Ash Wednesday with a cross traced on their foreheads. Many churches have Ash Wednesday services, and all are welcome. It’s a thought provoking way to begin your journey, to center and prepare yourself to make changes, to clean out some baggage and make more room for the truly important things.
This is a repeat post. I hope you will join us the next weeks as we look toward Good Friday and the Cross, with the goal of making ourselves a little more able to celebrate on Easter Sunday.