Thursday 18th February is Fritter Thursday (in Lancashire it takes place a day earlier on Ash Wednesday and is thus known as Fritter Wednesday). The days leading up to and into Lent were Collop Monday, Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Fritter Thursday and Kissing Friday (source: Lia Leendertz's 2020 Almanac).
According to The Free Dictionary, Fritter Thursday took its name from the custom of eating apple fritters, which were fruit-filled cakes deep-fried in fat, on this day. Image of Apple Fritters by RitaE is free for commercial use via Pixabay Licence.
I was surprised that this would be an acceptable dish once Lent had commenced (as 'fritter' suggests batter which would contains egg and milk) and on further research I discovered that in Lancashire (source: lep.co.uk) traditionally ‘Shrovetide’ meant the three days before Lent and comprised of ‘Collop Monday’, ‘Pancake Tuesday’ and ‘Fritters Wednesday’ (rather than Thursday) with the fritters being sliced apples fried in batter.
Confused by this, I contacted Lia Leendertz and asked about her sources for the 2020 Almanac. I'm delighted to say that she kindly responded to confirm that Fritter Thursday is featured in Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones, apparently as a Yorkshire tradition, and that it is also mentioned in the Oxford Companion to Food by Alan Davidson. Like me, she was at a loss to explain how it was allowed as this wasn't explained anywhere. However, she noted that fried pieces of floured applewould be good even without full batter or sugar. Lia also uncovered a 15th century recipe for Lent Fritters in Jane Grigson’s English Food and it was found to contain milk, eggs and sugar! A mystery. Maybe it’s Jane's (non Lenten) version of it. Thank you Lia for your thoughtful contribution ...
The date of Lent - which takes place in either February or March but always seven weeks before Easter - varies from year to year according to the lunar calendar which determines when Easter falls. The fact that Lent, and indeed Easter, are determined by the lunar calendar tends to suggest that they were superimposed over Pagan celebrations.
The Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD, approved a 40-day fast duration to celebrate Lent. This was the time period during which Constantine was striving for a harmonious union between the Christians and Pagans within the Roman Empire.
The start date of Lent was still under debate even after the Council of Nicaea. Pope Gregory, in 601, moved the commencement of Lent to Ash Wednesday (from the fourth Sunday of the year); this being 46 days before Easter. This allowed for 40 days of fasting with the six Sundays counting as feast days, making a total of 46 days for Lent. The tradition of using ashes to create the shape of a cross on parishioners foreheads was also instigated by Pope Gregory.
See bibleinfo.com, beaconoftruth.com, plant-lorecomwebsites for references. The latter two websites are not hyperlinked as they flag up as insecure.
By partaking in Fritter Thursday, confessing sins and living a modest life throughout the period of Lent, Christian's believed that it would enhance their harmony and wellbeing.
Aligning ourselves with other members of the community through mutual celebration is very therapeutic and is excellent for bringing harmony and wellbeing into our lives.
Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. Harmony Healing activities are aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life. We have a new series of Reyad Sekh Em (RSE) Level 1 Egyptian Alchemy healing courses starting this week with Violet Flame yesterday evening (late starts accepted until next Tuesday) and Khemitology tonight.
If you are looking for spiritually enlightening activities during lockdown, which help to connect you with the lunar cycle, we have the next virtual healing circle later this month on Friday 26th February, at 7.30-9.30pm (UK time = GMT), and costs £10 (+ £1 Paypal fee). During this session, we connect with other like-minded people and together we work through a mindful chakra balancing process using colours and etheric crystals, with the aim that all participants will experience a degree of unity consciousness. This activity serves as a good taster of my work in general and the virtual format of our Zoom based programme.
If you would like to experience one of our spiritual offerings (meditation, reading, 1:1 healing, a Forest Bathing+ session or a full mentoring course), why not ask for a Harmony Healing gift voucher for a birthday or other celebratory occasion?
A number of virtual courses are now ready, details on Harmony Healing Virtual Events. Currently, due to Coronavirus, most events will be virtual hence distant readings and healings are proving popular. We don't recommend giving a reading or healing to another person, without first checking whether it would be welcomed.
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