[ shrohv-tahyd ]
/ ˈʃroʊvˌtaɪd /
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the three days before Ash Wednesday, once a time of confession and absolution.
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Origin of Shrovetide

First recorded in 1375–1425, Shrovetide is from the late Middle English word shroftyde.See shrove, tide1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Shrovetide?

Shrovetide is the three-day period before the beginning of Lent, which is the season of fasting and penitence that precedes Easter.

Shrovetide consists of Shrove Sunday, Shrove Monday, and Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday and is the most well-known of the days of Shrovetide due to the tradition of eating pancakes on that day. Shrove Tuesday is sometimes called Pancake Day for this reason.

When is Shrovetide?

Shrovetide starts 49 days before Easter Sunday. (Lent is often considered a period of 40 days, but it actually consists of 40 weekdays.) Since Easter Sunday moves every year, the start of Shrovetide on Shrove Sunday can fall between February 1 and March 7.

In 2023, Shrovetide begins on February 19. In 2024, Shrovetide will begin on February 11.

Where does Shrovetide come from?

The first records of the term Shrovetide come from around 1400. Shrove is the past tense of the verb shrive, which means “confess one’s sins, such as to a priest” (it can also mean “to hear confession”). The word tide refers to a specific period or time or season. It is used in the same way in other words that refer to seasons or periods around holidays, such as Christmastide and Eastertide.

Shrovetide was once a time that many Christians devoted to confessing their sins before the beginning of Lent. But Lent itself is a time of fasting and abstaining, and Shrovetide (and especially Shrove Tuesday) eventually became, for many, a time of indulging before the Lenten fast begins.

Traditionally, fasting for Lent has involved giving up foods like eggs and fats (such as butter). Shrove Tuesday is the last day to use up such foods so they don’t go to waste during Lent, and pancakes are one of the easiest (and most delicious) ways to use these ingredients. That’s why Shrove Tuesday is often called Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Shrovetide?

How is Shrovetide discussed in real life?

Shrovetide is associated with indulging before Lent and the tradition of eating pancakes, especially on Shrove Tuesday.

Try using Shrovetide!

True or False?

Shrovetide always begins on the same date.

How to use Shrovetide in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Shrovetide

/ (ˈʃrəʊvˌtaɪd) /

the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, formerly a time when confessions were made in preparation for Lent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012