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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.

Is Carnival/Shrove Tuesday a Public Holiday?

Carnival/Shrove Tuesday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Pancakes

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.

Background

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015TueFeb 17Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2016TueFeb 9Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2017TueFeb 28Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2018TueFeb 13Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2019TueMar 5Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2020TueFeb 25Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2021TueFeb 16Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2022TueMar 1Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2023TueFeb 21Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2024TueFeb 13Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 
2025TueMar 4Carnival/Shrove TuesdayChristian 

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