Home > Calendar > Holidays > Australia > Carnival/Shrove Tuesday

Carnival/Shrove Tuesday in Australia

Shrove Tuesday is known as Pancake Day in Australia. It is the last day before Lent for many Christians. The day may fall close to or within the dates for an annual Mardi Gras festival in Sydney.

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day in Australia.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day in Australia.
©iStockphoto.com/Bill Manning

What do people do?

Many Australians make and share pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Selling pancakes to raise money for charity is a popular activity. Some churches, businesses and charities hold Pancake Day events by making fresh pancakes and selling them. Proceeds from these events go towards various causes, such as support for low-income families who are experiencing tough times. Pancake Day events may also include pancake tossing races.

The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras may fall around the time of (but does not necessarily coincide with) Shrove Tuesday. International celebrities and pop groups have flown to Sydney to sing at the event. Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade, which features elaborate costumes and dance music, is one of the city’s highlights. However, it has attracted political opposition from various conservative Christian groups.

Public life

Shrove Tuesday is not a public holiday in Australia so public life is not affected.


Many Christian observances and traditions, such as Shrove Tuesday, in Australia stem from the United Kingdom. Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent, which is a time when people traditionally fasted and avoided food containing eggs and dairy products. Families would have a feast on Shrove Tuesday. It was a time for them to eat food that contained these ingredients so that meals would not be wasted.

Pancakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday because they were a dish that could use up perishable foodstuffs such as eggs, fats and milk. Pancake races are thought to have begun in 1445. A general article about Shrove Tuesday worldwide covers more information about its background and symbols.

About Carnival/Shrove Tuesday in other countries

Read more about Carnival/Shrove Tuesday.

Carnival/Shrove Tuesday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
TueFeb 162010Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueMar 82011Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 212012Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 122013Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueMar 42014Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 172015Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 92016Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 282017Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 132018Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueMar 52019Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
TueFeb 252020Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 

Quick Facts

Shrove Tuesday is the day before the start of the Lent period for many Christians in Australia.

Carnival/Shrove Tuesday 2015

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Carnival/Shrove Tuesday 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Name in other languages

Carnival/Shrove TuesdayEnglish

List of dates for other years

Related holiday

Other holidays in February 2016 in Australia

Fun Holiday on February 17, 2016

Other calendars

Related links