Tuesday, 12 February 2013

What is Pancake Day and lent ?

After trying to be careful about puddings after Christmas I now find myself stuffing pancakes !...oh well. ....but I also found myself thinking what is lent and why ?...so here goes.....well it's what I found out....
Lent and Easter has strong associations with the christian calender but it is also linked with the moon phases. The Pagan Ostara, March 21 and  Eostar ,The spring Equinox( March 20th-23rd depending on moon cycle) The hours of the day and night are Equal and Wiccans and Celts celebrate the start of Spring.Fertility of the land is given by the Goddess and the God brings the land growing to maturity. The god and Goddess are thanked and celebrated for the start of happier days to come.
The Romans celebrated Lupercalia, a circus like festival, probably very similar to the present day  Mardi Gras. Lupercus was a Roman God associated with faunus or the satyr. When Christianity arrived in Rome they incorporated this festival into the day before Lent which mirrored the 40 days of abstinence which ended at Easter.

The Easter feast was another Roman festival in honour of the resurrection of
Attis called Hilaria.  History of the Mardi Gras

The month of Lent also has the Lentern Moon, the first full moon of Spring. It is the time of the Aries Equinox, when the sun appears to cross the Celestial Equator. This time has been celebrated all over the world since pre-historic times. Easter happens on the first Sunday following the full moon. This full moon is also known as an Easter or Paschal Moon.

Now Pancake day is strongly linked to the Christian calendar as it signals the last day before the period of Lent. The traditional name of Shrove Tuesday dates back to the Middle Ages when Christians used to confess their sins before the start of Lent, with ‘shrove’ having come from an old word for confession, ‘shrive’.It  always falls on a Tuesday and is exactly 47 days before Easter Day.

Traditionally, Lent is a time of giving things up. So eating pancakes is a way of enjoying some of the rich foods – such as butter and eggs – that Christians have traditionally done without during Lent. In some countries Pancake day is known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras.    History of the Mardi Gras
but what if you are not religious, but still want to use it as an excuse to give something up.
..Perhaps the diet so you will be looking trim in the Summer when you can't hide under big jumpers, or smoking, drinking,etc

 In The Artist's Way.by Julia Cameron she writes about giving up reading for a week...and giving up radio and TV...just relying on talking and thinking... “Reading deprivations casts us into our inner silence,” a place where we can “hear our own inner voice, the voice of our artist's inspiration.”.....sounds easy enough  but I bet it's not. 


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