It’s Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove comes from the word shrivel. So today is the day that we choose to humbly shrivel ourselves. This means finishing off our leftovers by stuffing them in pancakes, confessing our weaknesses and remembering the value of repentance and forgiveness.
Shrove Tuesday is the day before lent begins. Lent simply comes from the old English word lencten: ‘spring time’, but the early church thought it would be a good idea to encourage people to shrivel themselves (body and ego) by fasting for the season (40 days - 6 days a week for 46 days) in preparation for Easter Sunday.
Hence the common mental association between lent and fasting!
Easter day, as determined by the council of Nicaea in AD325, is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. That’s the 21st March, and officially the first day of Spring.
So why not join in with the fasting this lent? Give something up for 40 days as a practical act of remembering the value of humility and forgiveness, and of prayer for God's strength to help us be “rooted and established in love”, with the “power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,”?