Other names for this celebration of food and fun include Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Carnival, Fastnacht Day, Pancake Day, and Paczki Day. (Both fastnacht and paczki are names for delicious pastries.)
The origins of all these holidays is the Catholic practice of Lent, giving up pleasures or habits, with fasting and penitence, for 40 weekdays before Easter. I know it doesn't seem like a holiday of feasting should have anything to do with a long period of fasting—but today is the last hurrah, the day before Lent begins!
Many people these days celebrate Mardi Gras or Carnival separate from its origins. There are elaborate parades, sporting events, music and dance concerts, and (of course) joyful eating and drinking.
Match the holiday tradition with one of the places it is celebrated:
1. Fastnacht Day
2. Mardi Gras
3. Paczki Day
5. Pancake Day
A. Latin America
D. New Orleans
E. England (U.K.)
Have some Mardi Gras fun!
- DLTK has some fun crafts, games, and coloring pages.
- Activity Village is another website with ideas about celebrating Mardi Gras with kids.
ANSWERS: 1.C – 2.D – 3.B – 4.A – 5.E
Did you know...?
- In some towns in England, women do a special pancake race. They have to run to a church while holding a frying pan and flipping a pancake at least three times! The winner gets a “kiss of peace” from the church's bellringer!
- In Belgium, hundreds of men wear colorful costumes with jingling bells and towering ostrich-plume hats and dance through the streets, hurling oranges at the watching crowds.
For more on Mardi Gras and Carnival, see this earlier post.
Also on this date: