Mardi Gras Dinners
The day before Ash Wednesday is called “Shrove Tuesday” or “Mardi Gras” (Fat Tuesday).
The word “shrove” comes the verb “shrive,” which means “to have your sins forgiven” by confession. It was once the a tradition to confess sins on Shrove Tuesday, the last day before the penitential season of Lent, which was then much stricter than it is now. Many foods, including oil, fat, meat, and dairy products, were not permitted during Lent.
The day before Ash Wednesday became a holiday to use up all the remaining rich foods before Lent began. Eating pancakes and other treats is one tradition for Shrove Tuesday, which is called “Fat Tuesday” in France. Special cakes and pastries, such as King Cake and paczki, are made around this time of year and have recently become American grocery store staples instead of regional foods. Carnival, celebrated in many countries around the world but now a mostly secular event dedicated to being (or pretending to be) naughty, began as a last-time-to-be-wild festival before Lent. Churches around the world still celebrate one serious Shrove Tuesday tradition: burning the palms from the previous year’s Palm Sunday to use as ashes the next day.
For more information, reading and teaching materials, and visuals, see this local resource for Catholics and catechists, The Institute for Christian Formation.
Area Mardi Gras Dinners:
Feb. 17, Annunciation Parish (Clifton/Cincinnati) Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Mardi Gras Celebration, 6 – 8 pm. The parish in Clifton’s Gaslight neighborhood will begin the evening at 6 pm in the church, with Shrove Tuesday Evening Prayer and the Burning of Palm, followed by an all-you-can-eat pancake supper. There will be Mardi Gras masks and beads, and a Mardi Gras craft for children. reservations required to ensure enough food. $5/person; $15 maximum per person family maximum. Call (513) 851-1285 for reservations.
Feb. 17, Closing of Ordinary Time Palm Burning Service/Mardi Gras Ice Cream Social at St.Cecilia Church in Oakley/Cincinnati. Take part in a solemn palm burning ceremony at 6:30 followed by a fun social gathering where you can create your own sundae with lots and lots of toppings! For information email here.
Feb. 17, Fat Tuesday Spaghetti Dinner Catered by Distasi Restaurant at St. James of the Valley (Wyoming, OH), 5:30 – 8 pm. Adults $10, Children $7, 3 and under Free: Includes salad, bread, spaghetti and meatballs, and desserts. For information and reservations call 513-948-1218.
Feb 17, Shrove Tuesday Spaghetti Dinner at St. Matthias the Apostle (Forest Park, OH), 5 – 7 pm. Adults $8, children $5. Includes spaghetti and meatballs, Italian bread, salad, ice cream; lemonade, coffee or iced tea. Homemade desserts and soda available for purchase. For information and reservations call 513-861-1295.
Feb. 17, St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish (Liberty Twp., OH) Fat Tuesday Pancake Dinner, 5 – 7:30 pm. Pancakes and sausage; ice cream for dessert, “with an indulgence bar like you’ve never seen!” Pancake eating contest at 7 pm followed by palm burning at 7:15. For information call (513) 777-4322 ext .121.
Feb. 17, Mezzo Mezzo Social Club Fat Tuesday Dinner at Sacred Heart Church (Camp Washington/Cincinnati), 6:30 pm. Italian social club invites all to its first-ever Fat Tuesday dinner. Reservations required to ensure enough food. Tickets $10/adult, $25 family of three or more; includes dinner, beverages and desserts. Reservations For information call Joe Pitocco at (513) 871-8812.
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