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Shrove Monday Options
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Shrove Monday

Many countries celebrate Shrove Monday as well as Shrove Tuesday, both days marking a time of preparation for Lent. It is often a day for eating pastry, as the butter and eggs in the house must all be used up before Lent. In Greece it is known as Clean Monday and is observed by holding picnics at which Lenten foods are served. In Iceland, the Monday before Lent is known as Bun Day. The significance of the name is twofold: it is a day for striking people on the buttocks with a stick before they get out of bed as well as a day for eating sweet buns with whipped cream. More...
Posted: Monday, February 27, 2017 11:50:41 AM

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History of Shrove Monday

Shrove comes from the verb to shrive, or hear confessions. Shrove Monday is part of the celebrations of Shrovetide that come just before Ash Wednesday that is the first day of Lent season. The days of Shrovetide were meant to be days of preparations for the upcoming season of Lent, so people would prepare themselves by going to confession and doing away with eating any meat. From this also derives the term Carnival—carne levare or “taking away the flesh.”

Yet as faithful Christians were to be 40 days away from returning to daily pleasures, Shrovetide became more and more an opportunity to have opulent festivities. Anything from sports to luxurious meals seemed to be permitted before Lent. In many countries, the church tried to contradict this. During the days of Shrovetide, The Church promoted the passage of the Blessed Sacrament in the streets of the cities to keep people away from the many opportunities of sin that appeared during these days.

Even so, the celebrations were already such a part of the traditions of populations that there was no way to contradict the importance that those days had for the faithful. Inevitably, the clergy found ways to minimize the impact of the excesses of the initial celebrations by incorporating them in the proper traditions of the church. Today there are many traditions that show signs of over-indulgence as the people prepare themselves for the more sober days of Lent and Easter.
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