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Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day in Australia

Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the fasting period of Lent (for Western Christians), 47 days before Easter Sunday. Shrove Tuesday is also called Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or Pancake Day.

Is Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day a Public Holiday?

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

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day in Australia as it is the last day before Lent.

© iStock.com/Sabur Ahmed Jishan

What Is Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the fasting period of Lent in Western Christian churches. On Shrove Monday and Shrove Tuesday, people in many countries celebrate Carnival, bake pancakes, and prepare themselves for 40 days of fasting before the most important festival in the Christian Church: Easter.

What Does Shrove Mean?

The word shrove means being absolved from sin through confession and penance.

Shrove comes from the Latin word for “writing” (scribere); the English Church used the word for writing down rules (scrifan) to mean “absolving sinners” (shrive).

Shrove Tuesday is the time for Christians to prepare for absolution by confessing to their priest and by fasting or renouncing comforts for the 40 days of Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday.

Pancake Day

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. But what does Shrove Tuesday have to do with pancakes?

Using Up The Milk

Before the Lenten fasting, people traditionally use up ingredients they are not allowed to eat during the next 40 days—especially ingredients that will spoil, like eggs and milk.

A great way to use up these ingredients is making pancakes and waffles. That is how Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent, became known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French).

Mardi Gras Parades

Sydney’s Mardi Gras parade, which features elaborate costumes and dance music, is one of the city’s highlights. International celebrities and pop groups have flown to Sydney to sing at the event. The Mardis Gras parade in Sydney goes back to the gay rights celebration starting with a protest in 1978.

About Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day in Other Countries

Read more about Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day.

Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2017TueFeb 28Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2018TueFeb 13Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2019TueMar 5Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2020TueFeb 25Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2021TueFeb 16Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2022TueMar 1Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2023TueFeb 21Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2024TueFeb 13Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2025TueMar 4Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2026TueFeb 17Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2027TueFeb 9Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.