A quick history lesson:
- All Catholic and some Protestant countries traditionally call the day before Ash Wednesday Fat Tuesday. Fat Tuesday is called that because of the common Christian tradition of eating special rich foods containing eggs, milk, and sugar before Lent, a fasting season, begins. What kind of rich foods? Pancakes is a big one. Pastries. Wicked cool stuff like that.
Anyhow, back to the history lesson:
- Fat Tuesday is more commonly known in the religious community of English-speaking Christian countries (the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, and the USA) as Shrove Tuesday, and is always the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of the season of fasting and prayer known as Lent).
- The word shrove is the past participle of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and penance.
- During the week before Lent, sometimes called Shrovetide, Christians were expected to go to confession in preparation for the penitential season of turning to God.
- Shrove Tuesday is noted in histories dating back to 1000 AD.
- The popular partying aspect of Fat Tuesday came into play way before any of the the Protestant Reformations, and was more often than not associated with "releasing high spirits before the somber season of Lent"...that's where the whole carnival tradition associated with Mardi Gras comes from.
Not too sure where the beads for boobs aspect came from.
I digress...I'm going to make it count today...I'll get some grub on and party it up a little...because I've got a little list of things I'm giving up for the 40 days of Lent this year...
1. All beef, pork, and poultry - yeah, going that route again. It's tough. But it's a sacrifice, and that's what the season is about.
2. Starbucks Frappucino's - I'm addicted to those damn things. I have one usually ever weekday morning. It'll be another challenge. But I don't need the sugar, the calories, or to spend the $2-plus every day.
3. Saying bad words. I'll start a Swear Jar and put some $$$ in it every time I slip up...and give that to the Easter Sunday collection at Church.
4. I'm hitting the gym again. Hard. So what's that giving up? Being sedentary...lazy. Being sick for the last few weeks and some other daily stresses have gotten me off my routine, and that ain't cool. Time to put the proverbial foot up my butt and get it going again...afterall, Summer starts in a mere 83 days away (that'll be Monday, May 30th, which is Memorial Day).
I've got a few other things rolling around in the dome about what to give up...things that would be a sacrifice...but I'll keep them close to the vest...those will be between me and the Man Upstairs.
Until next time...it's party time, Mardi Gras style...make it count...and earn some beads, too!