History of Shrove Monday

Shrove MondayHISTORY 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 Quinquagesima Sunday and ending on Shrove Tuesday, known more popularly as Mardi Gras. Quinquagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday, which marked the beginning of Lent.

Shrove is the past tense of shrive, an Old English word meaning “to repent.” Repentance from sin was a common practice during this season.

The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is typically played on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England, tracing back to the time of Henry II in the 12th century (think of the play/movie “The Lion in Winter.”)

 

Shrove Monday and Lent

Collop

Collop

As we’ll see in tomorrow’s article on Mardi Gras, Christians usually avoided meat during the Lenten period of 40 days. So, during Shrovetide, immediately before Ash Wednesday, believers enjoyed various meat dishes. Another name for Shrove Monday is Collop Monday. Collop is an Elizabethan English word that means a small piece of bacon, a part of the breakfast meal eaten on this day. Cooks often kept the remaining fat 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” procession.

This day is also called Hall Monday and Merry Monday.

 

Shrove Monday in the East

It goes by other names in the eastern part of Europe and beyond. Clean Monday in Greece is also known as Pure, Ash, or Green Monday. While meat, eggs, and dairy products are traditionally forbidden during Lent to Orthodox Christians, fish is eaten on major feast days. Shellfish and mollusks are enjoyed on Clean Monday. Kite flying is a popular activity at this time. St. Thomas Christians in India and other Eastern Catholic churches observe some of these practices.

Will you strive to shrove this season?

 

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
billpetro.com

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2 Comments

  1. […] Bill Petro placed an observative post today on History of Shrove MondayHere’s a quick excerptHISTORY 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 Mardi Gras . Quinguagesima meant the fiftieth day before Easter, or specifically the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday. 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 tomorro […]

  2. Chuck on February 24, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Interesting — this is the first I recall being informed of such a day. I’ll have to ask someone that had a Catholic upbringing if it rings a bell to them. I have found that there are several different days & events that Catholics hold dear that I as a Protestant just have (had) no knowledge of.

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