Pancakes are a traditional food on Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Pancake Tuesday, because pancakes can be made with ingredients that were traditionally forbidden during Lent, including fat, sugar and eggs. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, and, like Mardi Gras, this day is designed to prepare Catholics and Christians for the Lenten season of fasting that starts on Ash Wednesday.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras. This holiday can be seen as a celebration of rich foods that will be off-limits during Lent, particularly fatty and sugary items. As a separate consideration from the consumption of rich foods, Shrove Tuesday also marks a period of spiritual preparation for the Lenten season. The word 'shrove' derives from an archaic English word, "shrive," that has to do with an acknowledgement of sins. This day gives those who observe Lent the opportunity to consider what they might need to repent for or improve in themselves during the Lenten period of restriction and fasting.