Shrovetide, also known as the Pre-Lenten Season or Forelent, is the Christian period of preparation before the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent.[1][2]

During Shrovetide (and especially on Shrove Tuesday, many Christians confess their sins, in preparation for the somber season Lent; depicted is an Evangelical Lutheran confessional in Luther Church (Helsinki, Finland)
Many Christian congregations celebrate Shrovetide through pancake breakfasts, which are held on Shrove Monday or Shrove Tuesday.

Shrovetide starts on Septuagesima Sunday,[1] includes Sexagesima Sunday, Quinquagesima Sunday (commonly called Shrove Sunday),[3] as well as Shrove Monday,[4] and culminates on Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras.[5]

During the season of Shrovetide, it is customary for Christians to ponder what Lenten sacrifices they will make for Lent.[6] Another hallmark of Shrovetide is the opportunity for a last round of merrymaking associated with Carnival and Fastelavn before the start of the somber Lenten season; the traditions of carrying Shrovetide rods and consuming Shrovetide buns after attending church are celebrated.[7][8] On the final day of the season, Shrove Tuesday, many traditional Christians, such as Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists and Roman Catholics,[9] "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God's help in dealing with."[10] During Shrovetide, many churches place a basket in the narthex to collect the previous year's Holy Week palm branches that were blessed and distributed during the Palm Sunday liturgies; on Shrove Tuesday, churches burn these palms to make the ashes used during the services held on the very next day, Ash Wednesday.[11]