Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gas or Pancake Day

Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gas or Pancake Day

rujokinggrandad.co.uk BLOG Tuesday 13th February 2018

THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

Stop everything!  Today is 13th February 2018. Pancake Day in the UK. Another name for it is Shrove Tuesday, and  Fat Tuesday and is celebrated as Carnival and Mardi Gras elsewhere in the world.

The festival is a Christian one, traditionally a day of fun and feasting before the fasting required during 40 days of Lent and self denial.

In the UK the focus of the day is the making and eating of pancakes. Just to help you along the way here is a pancake recipe:

Ingredients:

Serves: 8

200g flour

3 ½  teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caster sugar

300ml milk

1 egg

50g butter, melted

Method:

Prep: 5min  –  Cook:15min  – Ready in:20min

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk, egg and melted butter; mix until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 4 tablespoons (60ml) for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

OTHER COUNTRIES’ CELEBRATION

Mardi Gras translated means “Fat Tuesday” in French is celebrated with festivities starting at the beginning of February, leading up to Mardi Gras day, consisting of parades, dancing in the street, costumes and masked balls. The modern Carnival tradition developed in Europe in the Middle ages, and is celebrated mainly in Roman Catholic communities in Europe and the Americas today. Some of the most famous celebrations are held in Nice (France), Cologne (Germany), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and New Orleans (USA).

In New Orleans Mardi Gras is a huge celebration. If you were born in New Orleans it’s just the way things are. It’s in your bones and you can’t imagine living anywhere that doesn’t celebrate Mardi Gras. It is always celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday.

Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent, and for New Orleans’ Catholics that means sacrifice. So, Mardi Gras is the last bash before Lent. But, this is New Orleans, and one day of partying is simply not enough. Technically the season of Mardi Gras, called Carnival Season, begins on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany.

Mardi gras in New Orleans
Mardi gras in New Orleans

There are elaborate balls, by invitation only, formal tableaus in which the royalty of the individual group or “krewe” is presented. Then, about two weeks before Mardi Gras day, the parades begin. Krewes are the private clubs that put on Mardi Gras and related events of Carnival. The expenses of this monumental party are paid by the individual members of the Krewes and there is no commercial sponsorship for Mardi Gras Parades.

No matter what goes on during the carnival season and specifically on Mardi Gras day (Shrove Tuesday), it all ends exactly at midnight. At the stroke of 12, Lent starts and the partying ends. Mounted police lead a parade of street cleaners to clear the parade streets.

Mardi Gras Carnival is a huge celebration in Brazil too.

Samba groups parading wildly through the city streets, partiers in costumes ranging from the elaborate to barely-there, vendors throwing freezing beers and caipirinhas into the crowd, and a thousands of beautiful people sambaing their way into the hot summer nights (don’t forget this is the southern hemisphere): If you haven’t heard of the Disneyland for adults that is Rio Carnival, let us introduce you…

While the Carnival in Salvador is considered to be “the best” in Brazil, Rio Carnival has the competitive edge of being, well, Rio. The city is enchanting, sexy and vibrant, and its Carnival is a weeklong parade of that with the sounds and colours turned all the way up. Most foreigners think of Rio when they think of Carnival, and it’s no wonder why.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Rio Carnival this year, next year, or have it on your lifelong bucket list, you are so right, you do need to be a part of the once-a-year party of a lifetime that is Rio Carnival!

In Brazil and Rio carnival is one of the biggest parties in the world! This party is a way of living it up and having fun before the Christian period of Lent. This period occurs at different times during the year, but it usually begins in late February or early March and lasts until Easter.

During Lent, I will reiterate that Christians give up things like fattening foods and meat in order to be healthy and humble in preparation for Easter. Carnival usually begins on the Friday before Shrove Tuesday and lasts five days until Shrove Tuesday, the day called Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Lent starts. Lent lasts for 40 days, which is a long time to give up some of your favourite things. So, during Carnival, it’s time to enjoy those things one last time!

In Brazil, the biggest party city is Rio de Janeiro. Millions of people travel from all over the world to experience Carnival in Rio.

It is impossible to escape the party in Brazil for Carnival. That’s because the party is held everywhere, especially in the city streets! Food can be found at every corner, and people enjoy dancing to loud music. There are parades with elaborate floats, and people work on these floats for months before the party even begins.

Therefore Shrove Tuesday is not just about Pancakes and Pancake Races.

 

Mardi Gras Rio style
Mardi Gras Rio style

 

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE FOR THE DAY

Don’t stress yourself too much because no matter how bad the situation is… it will change

HAPPINESS IS…

Happiness is…a pile of pancakes

Happiness is…dancing in New Orleans to the Carnival parade

Happiness is…being in Rio for the Mardi Gras parade

GRANDAD’S ONE LINER JOKE OF THE DAY

I read this book about anti-gravity, I couldn’t put it down

LOVE IS…

Love is… a song that reminds you of him/her

TRACK OF THE DAY

Hey Jude – Wilson Picket

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