Shrove Monday

Shrove Monday
Date Monday before Ash Wednesday
2015 date February 16
2016 date February 8
2017 date February 27
2018 date February 12
Frequency annual

Shrove Monday, sometimes known as Collop Monday, Rose Monday, Merry Monday or Hall Monday, is the Monday before Ash Wednesday every year. A part of the English traditional Shrovetide celebrations of the week before Lent, the Monday precedes Shrove Tuesday. As the Monday before Ash Wednesday, it is part of diverse Carnival celebrations which take place in many parts of the Christian world, from Greece, to Germany, to the Mardi Gras and Carnival of the Americas.


Main article: Shrovetide

The word shrove is the past tense of the English verb shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance. Thus Shrovetide gets its name from the shriving that English Christians were expected to do prior to receiving absolution immediately before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is the last day of "shrovetide", somewhat analogous to the Carnival tradition that developed separately in countries of Latin Europe. The terms "Shrove Monday" and "Shrove Tuesday" are no longer widely used in the United States or Canada outside of liturgical traditions, such as in the Lutheran, Anglican, and Roman Catholic Churches.[1][2]

Collop Monday

The British name Collop Monday is after the traditional dish of the day, consisting of slices of leftover meat (collops of bacon) along with eggs.[3] It is eaten for breakfast and is part of the traditional Lenten preparations. In addition to providing a little meat, the collops were also the source of the fat for the following day's pancakes.[4] The word collop, here, is taken to mean a small piece of bacon. In general it is used to refer to a small piece of meat.

In parts of West Yorkshire such as Holmfirth, the name Collop Monday used to be traditionally used over Shrove Monday, but instead of bacon, slices of potato are used.

In Cornwall, it is called Nickanan Night or Peasen Monday (pea soup is served instead of meat).

German carnivals

Main article: Rosenmontag

Shrove Monday is part of the German, Danish, and Austrian Carnival calendar, called Rosenmontag. In the Rhineland, as part of the pre-lenten Fasching festival (or Feast of Fools), it is part of the parade season, a day of marching, revelry, and satirical floats.[5] In the Carnival in Denmark, it is called Fastelavn.

Eastern Orthodox traditions

Main article: Clean Monday

In the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar (most years falling later than the Western Church, usually in March), the start of (Eastern) Lent is called Clean Monday. This is not identical to Shrove Monday, which precedes the start of (Western) Lent by two days. Clean Monday is the first day of "Great Lent", and is traditionally considered the beginning of spring in Greece and Cyprus, where it is a Bank Holiday.[6] Different traditions take place in different localities. In the town of Tyrnavos, for instance, feasts are followed by songs and dances with Bacchic overtones.[7]

Liturgically, the day begins on the preceding evening, and the observance of Great Lent begins at Vespers on Sunday evening with the "Forgiveness Vespers", at which each person present bows before all the others and they mutually ask forgiveness.

On Clean Monday itself, in addition to religious services, celebrations involve kite flying and partaking of Lenten foods.

Caribbean Carnivals

In most Carnivals in the Americas which take place before Ash Wednesday, Shrove Monday is the opening day of parades. In some Carnivals, Sunday is celebrated as the opening, while in others still, Carnival is celebrated at other times of year.

In Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, J'ouvert, or "Dirty Mas", takes place before dawn on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. Thus Shrove Monday is known as Carnival Monday. "J'ouvert" means "opening day", a contraction of "Jour d'ouvert". Here revelers dress in old clothes and cover themselves in mud, oil paint and body paint. A common character to be seen at this time is "Jab-jabs" (devils, blue, black or red) complete with pitch fork, pointed horns and tails. Here also, a king and queen of the J'ouvert are chosen, based on their representation of current political/social events/issues.

Carnival Monday involves the parade of the mas bands, but on a casual or relaxed scale. Usually revelers wear only parts of their costumes, and the purpose of the day is more one of fun than display or competition. Also on Carnival Monday, Monday Night Mas is popular in most towns and especially the capital, where smaller bands participate in competition.

Lundi Gras

The Shrove Monday events of the New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coast Mardi Gras, dating back to the 19th century, have since the late 20th century been named Lundi Gras ("Fat Monday").

See also


  1. Walker, -Sue (2002). "Mardi Gras". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  2. "National Celebrations: Holidays in the United States". U.S. State Department. Retrieved 17 November 2006.
  3. Brand, John (1849). Observations on popular antiquities of Great Britain. London: Henry G. Bohn. p. 62. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  4. Timbs, John (1829). The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction. London: J. Limbird. p. 133. Retrieved 10 February 2013.
  5. Karneval revellers brave chilly rain for Rosenmontag parade. AFP/ 23 Feb 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-24
  6. Retrieved 2009-02-24
  7. Shrove Monday in the town of Tyrnavos. Retrieved 2009-02-24
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