The last three days before the beginning of Lent is known as Shrovetide. The old names for these days were:
Pancake Day - Shrove Tuesday
The day on which all fats and cream had to be used up.
Shrovetide was celebrated with games, sports, dancing and other revelries. There were feasts to use up the food that could not be eaten during the Lenten fast. Football was played in the streets and Nickanan Night (as Shrove Monday evening was called in Cornwall) was a time for boys to run riot in the villages: hiding gates, taking off door knockers, and making off with anything that householders had forgotten to lock away.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before to Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between February 3 and March 9.
Where does the word Shrove come from?
The name Shrove comes from the old word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.
Shrove Tuesday a time for celebrations
Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it's the last day before Lent.
Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren't allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.