So, it’s pancake day tomorrow, and no doubt you will be tucking into a delicious stack, covered in maple syrup, or perhaps just a bit of lemon and sugar. Pancake day is a Christian tradition, held on the day preceding Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent, a period when Christians are supposed to fast or abstain from certain luxuries in the run up to Easter. Prior to the fast, you are permitted to get fat and indulge in a feast of delicious pancakes, but pancake day has different names in different countries, here’s a run down of pancake day in every language:
In England pancake day is also known as Shrove Tuesday. Shrove comes from the English word shrive, meaning to obtain absolution by doing penance.
Many Catholics and Protestants around the world call it Mardi Gras which is French for “Fat Tuesday”.
In Latin countries, speaking Italian, Spanish or Portuguese, it is called Carnival, which comes from carne “meat” levare “take away”, because a common aspect of Catholic fasting is to abstain from meat during Lent.
The Danish and Norwegians call it Fastelavn, The term is a Low Saxon loanword imported from Northern Germany and is related to the word “fast”.
In Poland, the celebration is held on the Thursday prior to Ash Wednesday, rather than the Tuesday and is therefore named tłusty czwartek or Fat Thursday.
The Swedish call it Fettisdagen “Fat Tuesday”, and rather than eating pancakes, the Swedes enjoy a very creamy type of pastry called Semla which are almost as good as pancakes.
Whatever language you speak, everyone here at EmpowerLingua hopes you have a delicious treat tomorrow!