Lot of good informations!
The word comes from shrive, which means « to confess ». During Lent Christians are supposed to perform some kind of penance, usually food deprivation, so fatty foods would be gorged upon beforehand. The word carnival comes from came levare referring to abstaining from meat. Meat, dairy and eggs were luxury foods to be given up for the forty days of Lent. As these foods were also perishables they needed to be used up, so pancakes and other similar treats would be made.
In England the day would be celebrated by raucous football games, until the 1835 Highway Act banned the playing of football in public thoroughfares. These days the festivities are limited to pancake races, whereby the runners…
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