Before Ash Wednesday and Lent, let's enjoy sweet, sugary, delicious beignets
Mardi Gras on Tuesday the 28th
Let’s celebrate Carnival (or Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday ) and its donuts !
Before Ash Wednesday on March 1st in 2017 and Lent for 40 days (+ 6 Sundays) before Easter Lent is treated as a period of reflection and a time for fasting from food and festivities.
Before Lent’s let’s celebrate Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras, Carnival is your “last chance” to enjoy meat, fat, sweet, therefore donuts and waffles for 46 days !
Some call it Pancake day but in France Pancakes are for Chandeleur (Relevailles, churching) and BEIGNETS are the tradition for Carnival ( doughnuts)
Another Catholic celebration but lost most of its religious origin today.
Carnaval means “Carne levare”, remove meat, fat from your diet. Carnaval is the last day before Lent period 46 days before Easter (movable date).
In Medieval times, it was common to organize tournaments and races on Shrove Tuesday.
February is the Month for Carnivals all over the world : Venice, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Dunkerque North of France, Mayence or Cologne in Germany…
Same as Chandeleur and many others, Mardi-Gras took over some pagan traditions :
getting rid of cold and Winter.
For Chandeleur people consumed the previous year flour. For Mardi Gras, they would finish their Winter stock.
Carnival also had a social role: when people dress up they all look the same, no more difference between rich and poor, noble and peasant.
What do people give up for Lent?
Lent is treated as a period of reflection and a time for fasting from food and festivities.
Lent is traditionally marked with fasting, abstinence and prayer. Most believers tend to give up something until Lent ends to "purify" their bodies.For children it could be something such as chocolate, sweets, television or certain toys, while adults tend to give up things such as alcohol, coffee or smoking. Some households may give up meat, eggs and dairy products.
During Lent, enjoying food is a sin ( See movie “ Le Chocolat” with Juliette Binoche, Johny Depp, Judi Dench taking place in Flavigny sur Ozerain in Burgundy).
A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small French village that shakes up the rigid morality of the community.
Painting : "Le combat de Carnaval et de Carême" de Bruegel (1559). Fight between Carnival and Lent
In France we have different kinds of “beignets” : merveilles, oreillettes, bugnes, Pets de none ( Nun’s fart ☺)
if some are interested I can publish recipe for Merveilles here...