the personal views, thoughts, and musings of donna d'errico

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Trivia

Did you know that...

During Lent, consuming such things as fat, sugar, and eggs was traditionally forbidden throughout the 40 days of Lenten fasting and prayer. Since Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent, that meant that everyone needed to consume all the eggs, fats, etc. that they had in their kitchens. So, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday traditionally became the day that everyone had one last feast using those foods. That Tuesday became known as "Pancake Tuesday" because they used the fats, eggs, and sugars to make pancakes and other foods in order to use up those supplies. Did you know that is how Mardi Gras - "Fat Tuesday" - began?

How about Easter eggs and Easter baskets full of goodies and chocolates on Easter Sunday? Well, since Easter Sunday marks the end of 40 days of fasting and abstinence, people would celebrate by feasting on the eggs they couldn't eat during Lent, as well as other fatty and sugary things. Hence the Easter eggs, chocolates, and sugary goodies on Easter Sunday. Many people don't know how these traditions began, or that they all came about from the Catholic observation of Lent.

1 comment:

  1. Yes and the Eastern Orthodox still observe the fasting from oils, alcohol and all animal products, during the Great Fast (Lent) as well as during the other fasts during the year.

    We are now in the 40 day Nativity Fast which will end on Christmas day.

    Good post, thanks for writing about this. Blessings and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    - Robert