Shrove Tuesday, also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or “Carnival,” is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes. In others, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras or some translation thereof, is a carnival day, and also is collectively observed as the last day of "fat eating" or "gorging" before the fasting period of Lent.
This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression "Shrove Tuesday" comes from the word shrive, meaning "absolve.” Shrove Tuesday is a set aside opportunity to "make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs we need to repent of, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth which we would especially need to ask God's help in dealing with." One is free to give themselves to contemplation while eating their chocolate or consuming whatever else they are about to abstain from…
Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, there are many long held practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent.
Lastly, the term Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday," referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.
Peace my dear friends and may this Lenten season be a time wherein our faith is greatly strengthened.