Shrove Monday is a Christian observance that lands on the Monday before Ash Wednesday annually. It’s part of Carnival celebrations that take place in a lot of different places in the world including Austria, Germany, and Denmark. In those countries, it’s known as Rosenmontag-which means Rose Monday. In Denmark, it’s a part of Fastelavn and in Great Britain, it’s known as Collop Monday-a name given to it because of the tradition of eating collops (bacon) and eggs. In other countries, it’s known as Carnival Monday, Fat Monday, or Lundi Gras.
The History Of Shrove Monday
Shrove Monday goes back to the Middle Ages in association with Shrovetide celebrations. The word shrove comes from the English word Shrive-a word that means to ask for absolution for one’s sins. Shriving was the practice of English Christians to receive absolution before the beginning of Lent. Outside of liturgical traditions, Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday aren’t widely used in Canada or the U.S.
Many of the traditions that form the basis of Carnival in countries across Europe are believed to have begun with the ancient Romans over 2,000-years ago. In Roman tradition, it was customary for servants to play the role of master for the day. This is where much of the ridiculing and mocking of public figures come from. These traditions were then combined with traditional Christian fasting that was done for Lent.
Facts About Lent & Shrove Monday
Since Shrove Monday is observed before Lent, we thought that we’d cover some interesting facts about Lent below.
- The 40-day fasting period honors the period of time that Jesus Christ spent in the wilderness fasting before beginning his public ministry.
- Sundays do not count as part of the Lenten fast, so there are actually 46-days between Ash Wednesday and Easter.
- Pretzels are considered to be the perfect Lenten snack because no eggs, butter, or lard are used to make them traditionally.
- The Filet O-Fish was created by McDonald’s to cater to the millions of Catholics abstaining from meat during Lent.
Observing Shrove Monday
Most Shrove Monday celebrations are reflected in the dishes that are prepared and served on that day. Since it’s traditional for people to give up meat for Lent, Shrove Monday was a day for people to eat all of the meat in the home so it wouldn’t go bad over the next 40-days. That’s why in Great Britain, this holiday is known as Collop Monday because collop bacon is eaten on this day with eggs. In Germany, there are parades, bratwurst or Krapfen (a kind of donut) are eaten, as well as pretzels. There are also parades and events where politicians are ridiculed. In other countries, Shrove Monday is observed with plenty of parades and other public celebrations.