Some internationalism of this Tuesday :-)
For Roman Catholic countries in Europe and the Americas, this is the last day of Carnival. In some historically Francophone places like New Orleans, it is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
The most famous Shrove Tuesday celebration is the Brazilian Carnival (what a fantastic smile! ;-})
It is also known as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and Canada (wait a minute - from Brazilian Carnivals to Pancakes?)
The origin of the name Shrove lies in the archaic English verb "to shrive" which means to absolve people of their sins (so easy!) It was common in the Middle Ages for "shriveners" (priests) to hear people's confessions at this time, to prepare them for Lent
In Sweden Shrove Tuesday is known as Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday) an is marked by eating traditional Swedish pastry, called Semla. Supposedly, the pastry is only to be eaten on this day but it is seasonally available from New Year until the beginning of Lent (the temptation of Semla...!)
In Italy, lasagne is a traditional dish for this time of year (fattening :~ })
In Iceland the day is known as "Sprengidagur" (Bursting day) and is marked with the eating of salt meat and peas (wow!) :-)
In Poland, Pączki are traditionally eaten on Fat Thursday (hey, what happened to my favorite day, Wednesday?) However, in areas of Michigan, USA with large Polish communitnies, they are eaten on "Fat Tuesday" due to French influence (oh those French!) :-)
In Lithuania, Shrove it is called Užgavėnės and of-course pancakes (blynai) are devoured
In Estonia (Vastlapäev) and Finland (Laskiainen), this day revels in hopes for the coming year, when families go sledding and eat split pea and ham soup. A toy is made from the ham bone by tying the bone to a string and spinning it around to make a whistling noise (ahhh, so lovely! hope, family, spit pea, ham bone, whistling! – love it!)
In Finland, sweet buns filled with cream or almond paste (similar to the Swedish Semla) are popular on this day (yum). There is a tale told that if you cut your hair on this day, it will grow fast and thick for the next year (if I only I had known this, I would have become a barber and moved to Finalnd for a day!)
In Pennsylvania it is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition to eat a type of doughnut called a Faschtnacht, which is made of all the sweets and other forbidden (oooh!) items in the household and then consumed on Fat Tuesday so that one would not be tempted during the Lenten Fast
In other parts of the world, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is known as - "Tuesday before Ash Wednesday"
so share some semla & soup, sled, shave, shake & sing - & shrive! so simple!