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Fat Tuesday Celebrations Around The World

Monday, February 12th, 2018 at 1:00pm Engel & Völkers Melbourne

February, the month where people world-wide spend the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday in celebration.  Depending on the country it can be referred to as Shrove Tuesday (which is derived from the word shrive, meaning "confess"), Pancake Day, Mardi Gras (which means Fat Tuesday in French), or Carnivale (this is the most famous Brazilian holiday).  The traditional start of the carnival season in Germany starts November 11 at 11:11 AM.

Fat Tuesday reflects the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, the idea that since many people begin a Fast on Ash Wednesday, the Tuesday before you can use up all the fattening food in your house.  The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses in those days were eggs and milk.  A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes!  The custom of making pancakes still continues today, and in may U.K. towns and villages pancake races and pancake tossing competitions are hold on Shrove Tuesday.


Many countries around the world have Mardi Gras celebrations and carnivals.  Some of the most famous are Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, New Orleans in the U.S.A., Venice in Italy and Sydney in Australia.  Generally, the streets are filled with revelers and a parade or procession of brightly decorated floats.

In 1875, Governor Henry Warmoth signed "The Mardi Gras Act," making Fat Tuesday a legal holiday in Louisiana, which it still is.

Pancake Day has a very long history in the U.K. and is featured in cook books as far back as 1439.  The ingredients for pancakes can be seen to symbolize four points of significance at this time of year.

  • Eggs-Creation
  • Flour-The Staff Of Life
  • Salt-Wholesomeness
  • Milk-Purity

So simple to make the traditional pancakes served on Pancake Day in the U.K.:  To make 8 or so pancakes you will need 8oz plain flour, 2 large eggs, a pint of milk, salt.  Mix all together and whisk well.  Leave to stand for 30 minutes.  Heat a little oil in a frying pan, pour in enough batter to cover the base of the pan and let it cook until the base of the pancake has browned.  Then shake the pan to loosen the pancake and flip the pancake over to brown the other side.  Or...

... for the perfect Irish Pancake Day recipes click here.

Thank you to Gobnait O'Connell and our partners in Engel & Volkers - Cork for supplying us with the odlums link.

What will you do on Fat Tuesday?

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