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Mardi Gras!

What to Eat on Shrove Tuesday
Today, also known as Fastnacht (German for “eve of fast”) and Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday”), is the last day before Lent begins in the Christian calendar.

In the Cajun country of Louisiana, a rich gumbo served over rice is the traditional Mardi Gras feast.

For the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shrove Tuesday means Fastnacht kuche, a special, deep-fried doughnut baked and eaten only on this day. A similar deep-fried cake called oliebollen is eaten in Holland, and jelly-filled buns called paczki are made in Poland.

Maybe the best-known tradition is Shrove Tuesday pancakes, traditionally fried to use up all cooking fats (forbidden during Lent).

See more about Mardi Gras.

Shrove Tuesday Lore

When the Sun is shining on Shrovetide Day, it is meant well for rye and peas.

Thunder today foretelleth wind, store of fruit, and plenty.

So much sun as shines on Shrove Tuesday, so it shines all Lent.

For more wit and wisdom, sign up for our 13 free “of the day” RSS feeds.


There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

–Emily Dickinson (1830–86) 

A Special Offer from The Old Farmer’s Almanac


Cures for the Common Cold

Almanac editor Janice Stillman discusses conventional and unconventional remedies.

Watch video now!

Great Almanac Giveaway

Check out this month’s prize:

Organize your gardening activity with Fiskars handy tote & organizer, The Old Farmer’s Almanac All-Seasons Garden Journal and Gardening Calendar, and Norpro Compost Keeper.

Spring Weather Outlook

Starting to think about spring weather? The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that spring will be cooler than normal in the Northeast, in Minnesota, in the Desert Southwest, along much of the Pacific coast, and across most of Canada. Temperatures will be warmer than normal elsewhere.

Rainfall will be above normal from California northeastward to the Upper Midwest and near or below normal in other regions.

What’s in store in your area? See free long-range forecasts for the current and next month on our Web site.

Or, click here to buy your complete long-range weather forecast through October 2010.

Weekly Weather Contest

What’s the difference between a frost and a hard freeze? Take a guess!

We’ll draw three names from all of the correct answers and send each winner The 2010 Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Look up at the night sky. The thin crescent Moon is oriented “on its back” in the fading dusk from the 14th to the 17th. It almost looks like a smile.

Readers sometimes ask us if this position has any meaning. According to folklore:

If the new crescent Moon holds its points upward, able to contain water, expect the month to be dry. If it stands on its points, expect precipitation to spill out.

If the horns (points) of the Moon are sharp and pointed, it indicates wind.

See more Moon Lore.

Now—have you ever seen a Moonbow? See more here

Have you ever heard of a Moon dog? Find out more.