Kempinski Blog Article
One of the most important dates in the Christian calendar, Shrove Tuesday takes place on the first Tuesday before Ash Wednesday – February 28th in 2017. The celebration, whereby Christians indulge before the period of Lent, is known by many names, including Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras and Fastelavn, and is celebrated in a variety of ways, all across the world.
Wild Mardi Gras
The customs surrounding the French incarnation of Shrove Tuesday are particularly joyful, due to the parades, concerts and carnivals that take place throughout the country. Nice, in particular, is well known for its ten exciting days of celebrations, where floats are paraded through the streets, revellers wear colourful masks and costumes, and donuts known as les beignets du carnaval are enjoyed.
Of course, any reference to Mardi Gras would be incomplete without mentioning the Southern American version of the festival. New Orleans' parades, Dixieland jazz, masquerade balls and street parties combine to create a wonderful visual and social spectacle – certainly a celebration that everyone should experience at one time in their lives!
Piles of pancakes
If you have ever lived in a country that observes Lent, chances are you have flipped, or at least, eaten a pancake – eating them comes from the Lent tradition of using up rich ingredients such as eggs, milk and sugar before the forthcoming 40-day fast.
In England, pancake races are common, whereby people race down streets in aprons, frying pan in hand, flipping their pancake in the air as they run. In Canada, the pancake eating takes on a sentimental edge as symbolic objects such as coins and rings are added to the mixture – if you find a ring, you will be the first to marry, while if you find a coin you will be blessed with wealth!
Germany's pre-Lent period sees the country come alive as many local festivals take place, most of which happen on the weekend and Monday prior to Shrove Tuesday.
Green Monday and Rose Monday are two of the more well-known versions. Green Monday is all about cleansing, quiet contemplation and seeking forgiveness for the sins committed during the year, while Rose Monday is an all-out celebration featuring carnivals, costumes and beer, before the simple and sober Lent period begins.
To experience Shrove Tuesday's celebratory side in Germany, stay at one of our exquisite locations – Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski in Munich, Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski in Dresden, or Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin.