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Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake Day 2025 in Canada

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.

Colorful costumes, masquerades and entertainment are part of the Quebec Winter Carnival in Canada.

©iStockphoto.com/Eline Spek

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.

Quebec Winter Carnival

In the dark winter months, the Canadian city of Quebec celebrates the largest winter festival in the Western Hemisphere: The Quebec Winter Carnival or Carnaval de Québec.

The event attracts thousands of people—in 2006, Quebec counted up to a million visitors making it the world’s biggest winter festival at the time. The Winter Carnival is held in January or February and lasts for two weeks, often coinciding with Shrove Tuesday.

The festivities include snow sculpting, winter sports, and typical Québéquois sports such as canoe races and dogsledding.

The Snowman Mascot: Bonhomme

Bonhomme is a large snowman with a red cap and an arrow sash. He is an important symbol associated with the Quebec Winter Carnival. The arrow sash, inspired by North America’s indigenous culture, was used in the 19th century to tie jackets at the waist to prevent the cold from creeping in. The belt and the red hat, linked directly to Quebec folklore, are the primary elements of Bonhomme’s outfit.

Tradition Since 1894

Quebec City’s first winter carnival took place in 1894. The carnival was held sporadically during the later years due to interruptions from wars and the economic crisis of 1929. However, the carnival festivities were launched again, with the first official Québec Winter Carnival taking place in 1955.

Why Is It Called Carnival?

The word Carnival is said to come from the simplified Latin “carne levare” or “carne vale” (goodbye, meat!). The days of Carnival were traditionally for eating meat before putting it away for the fasting season. Carnival was also the last time for “pleasures of the flesh,” such as dancing, drinking, and other connected activities, before the time of Lent.

Another possible origin for the word carnival is the Latin word “carrus navalis,” a colorful wooden boat people carried through the streets during an old spring celebration. These boats, or “parade floats,” as they are called today, still are an essential part of Carnival celebrations today.

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
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
2028TueFeb 29Carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Pancake DayChristian
2029TueFeb 13Carnival / 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.