Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word 'Shriven' meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you've done. Lent always starts on a Wednesday, so people went to confessions on the day before. This became known as Shriven Tuesday and then Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday also has many customs pertaining to food. Pancakes are traditional in a number of European countries because eggs, sugar, and fat, commonly forbidden during the Lenten fast, are used up so they will not go to waste; the day is known as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday in Ireland and in many Commonwealth countries. Similarly rich pre-Lenten treats, sweet pa̡czki are traditional in Poland, and king cake is an iconic part of Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”) in New Orleans. See also Carnival.