HISTORY OF SHROVE MONDAY
The Monday before Ash Wednesday is known as Shrove Monday. The three days before Ash Wednesday is also known as “Shrovetide,” starting with Quinguagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, known more popularly as Mardi Gras. Quinguagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, or specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday which marked the beginning of Lent. Shrove is the past tense of shrive and is an Old English word meaning “to repent.” Repentance from sin was a common practice during this season.
As we’ll see in tomorrow’s article on Mardi Gras, meat was usually avoided during the Lenten period of 40 days. So during Shrovetide, immediately before Ash Wednesday, various meat dishes were enjoyed. Another name for Shrove Monday is Collop Monday. Collop is an Elizabethan English word that means a small piece of bacon, which was a part of the breakfast meal eaten on this day. The remaining fat was often kept for making pancakes the next day, on Shrove Tuesday.
Rose Monday, in German speaking countries is a transliteration of Rosenmontag which means “running Monday” and is the highlight of the German “Karneval”.
This day is also called Hall Monday and Merry Monday.
Will you strive to shrove this season?
Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian