Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lent. Show all posts

Feb 24, 2017

Pancake Day

Pancake Day is celebrated primarily in the UK, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. It is also known as Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. Ash Wednesday is March 1, 2017.

Pancake Day was originally a pagan celebration of the changing of seasons, a sort of recognition of the maddening battle this time of year between very cold and beginnings of Spring. Pancakes, in their roundness and warmth, symbolized the sun.

Incidentally, a Bristol-based design firm called Kinneir Dufort has come up with a
3-D printing machine that uses facial recognition technology to print your likeness on a pancake. The system utilizes both the high-tech and the low-tech to mirror your face, combining complex face-recognition and tracking software with the practice of layering strokes of pancake batter onto a hot plate to result in color gradation caused by the varied cooking times of different parts.

Apr 11, 2014

Seven Spring Facts

The vernal (spring) equinox (‘equal night’) is the day when the center of the Sun is visible for exactly 12 hours. That is not the same as the ‘equilux’ (equal light) when there are 12 hours of daylight from the Sun’s first appearance and its going down. Australia and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere begin the first day of autumn at the same time and there is a movement to call this event the March Equinox or Northward Equinox to avoid a North Hemisphere bias.

Astronomically, spring officially begins on the spring equinox.

The spring and autumn equinoxes are the only days when the Sun rises directly due east and sets due west in the northern hemisphere.

The reason there is more daylight during the spring is the earth’s axis tilts toward the sun at this time of year.

We have used the word ‘spring’ for the season since the 16th century. Before that spring was used for centuries to apply to the source of a river and the spring season was known as Lent or Lenten.

The Slatina spring in Slovenia is alleged to have been discovered by the mythological winged horse Pegasus.

The earliest known use of the term ‘spring-cleaning’ was in 1857

Feb 13, 2010

Pancake Day

In the United Kingdom, Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday is the day before lent. During lent one is supposed to fast, so a day of eating prior to 40 days of deprivation. Pancake day varies in line with Easter. In 2010, it is on February 16.

Pancake day is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that weren't allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter, and eggs which were forbidden during Lent. Eating meat was also forbidden.

Pancake races and tossing the pancakes are two traditions that have stayed with us. Women race with pancakes in frying-pans, tossing them as they run. This was one of many merry-making games played at this time.

Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the ritual of shriving, when the faithful confessed their sins to the local priest and received forgiveness before the Lenten season began.

As far back as 1000 AD, "to shrive" meant to hear confessions. 'Short shrift' is derived from this and means giving little attention to someone's explanations.

Today, the Shrove Tuesday pancake tradition lives on throughout Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia, but is most associated with the UK where it is simply known as Pancake Day with a traditional recipe.

In France, as well as in New Orleans it is known as Fat Tuesday which kicks off the Mardi Gras festival with wild celebrations just before the austere Lenten season.  Mardi Gras means Grease or Fat Tuesday.

In Poland, pączki  and faworki are traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday, the one before Shrove Tuesday. However, in areas of Detroit, like Hamtramck with a large Polish  population, they are eaten on "Fat Tuesday" due to French influence. Shrove Tuesday itself is sometimes referred to as "śledzik" ("little herring") and it is customary to have some pickled herring with Polish vodka that day.

Feb 10, 2010

Religious Customs

Many religious customs were borne from necessity, such as Lent or no meat on Fridays for millions of Catholics. In olden times, there was a shortage of meat, so the church declared Friday as meatless days, that way the poorer populations would not be singled out for not having meat as part of the daily meals and they could offer their hardship as penance (to receive blessings).

Lent was that time of year after winter storage was running low and spring harvest was still months away. Fasting was a way to accept the hardship as an offering to please God, rather than to endure because there was little food available.