Our Residents and Staff are already making plans to celebrate
Mardi Gras Day is March 1, 2022. Fat Tuesday is the last day of the Carnival season as it always falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
Given that Lent was a season of fasting, it makes sense that households would traditionally consume all remaining foods that would be forbidden during Lent, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products, as Ash Wednesday approached. Hence, Shrove Tuesday was also called Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday.” It’s best known as the New Orleans celebration of carnival that leads up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, the season of fasting and penitence during the 40 weekdays before Easter in the Catholic calendar. Since it’s a holy season, devout people were supposed to go to confession, which led to calling the day Shrove Tuesday in Medieval England: shrove is from shrive, an archaic verb meaning “to confess one’s sins especially to a priest.”
The original celebrations lasted longer, starting at Epiphany (January 6), but Renaissance popes restricted the fun to the last few days preceding Ash Wednesday. The carnival spread from Italy to the rest of Catholic Europe. In England, the custom of using up the eggs and fat before Lent led to another name: Pancake Day. [Merriam-Webster]
The practice of abstaining from meat during Lent is the ultimate origin for the word carnival, since it comes from the Latin words carne (“flesh”) and levare (“to remove,” “to take away”). The two terms we have for the celebration take different perspectives: half empty (carnival) and half full (Mardi Gras).
Our Residents and Staff will undoubtedly enjoy the donut miracle that happens only once a year…known as Paczki!!
Pączki are deep-fried pieces of dough shaped into spheres and filled with confiture or other sweet filling. Pączki are usually covered with powdered sugar, icing, glaze or bits of dried orange zest. A small amount of grain alcohol (traditionally rectified spirit) is added to the dough before cooking; as it evaporates, it prevents the absorption of oil deep into the dough.