Today in Ireland (and British Isles) is "Pancake Tuesday". Women celebrate by running in a marked race while carrying a frying pan containing a pancake. The winner, on crossing the line, must toss her pancake and she is then greeted by the traditional kiss of peace. It's commonly referred to here as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Marti Gras... The faithful entered into Lent, refraining from eating eggs and all dairy products, using up the meat and dairy in the house made for delicious pancakes (which was traditionally restricted all during the 46 days of Lent). Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season began.
I find the entire Lenten season fascinating. From the customs of balls, parades at carnival celebrations in New Orleans and Rio de Janiero where eating, drinking and dancing is the custom - and how it all leads into Holy Week where the customs are so different all over the world. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.
But....am I crazy or does it seems like we JUST celebrated Christmas yesterday!