Wooohoo baby!! Mmmmm pancake (Shrove tuesday for those who prefer official titles) Shrove Tuesday, the eve of Lent — also known as Mardi Gras (literally "fat Tuesday" in French), Carnival (from the Latin for "farewell to the flesh"), and Fasnacht (the Germanic "night of the fast") — is celebrated across the world with riotous merrymaking and feasting. While Brazilians samba in the streets of Rio, and New Orleans throws its most famous party of the year, the English celebrate with Pancake Tuesday. It may seem an unlikely last indulgence, but pancakes use up rich ingredients like butter and eggs from the larder before the pious Lenten fast. Families gather for sweet and savory pancake suppers, and housewives still compete in the peculiar tradition of donning their aprons and racing each other holding pancake-filled skillets. Strict rules require that each contestant successfully toss and flip her pancakes into the air at least three times before crossing the finish line.