NORWAY — The Second Congregational Church, UCC, will host a Mardi Gras-Pancake Day celebration from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, at 205 Main St.

Members and friends will serve pancakes, sausage, eggs, fruit, juice and coffee. The meal is free to children 10 and younger. Adults pay $6.

There will also be live music and crafts for children. All are welcome to this fundraiser for the missions of the church.

Mardi Gras, from the French for “Fat Tuesday,” is a century’s old practice of eating rich and fatty foods before the fasting of the Lenten season. For many, Mardi Gras evokes images of parades, floats, beads, and jazz music in New Orleans, Louisiana. Revelers often wear costumes or at least dress in purple, green, and gold. The colors are symbolic — since 1872, purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.

Mardi Gras, in the English tradition, is known as Pancake Day-Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day is the feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

In a tradition dating back to before 1445, a bell would be rung to call people to confession and then fasting for Lent. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell.”

Shrove Tuesday, before the “Pancake Bell,” was the last opportunity to use up eggs and fats before embarking on the Lenten fast.

Like the Mardi Gras colors, the ingredients for pancakes are symbolic: eggs represent creation, flour represents the staff of life, salt represents wholesomeness and milk represents purity.

In melding the French and English traditions at the Second Congregational Church, there will be pancakes, rich and fatty foods. Costumes, beads, and feathers are encouraged.

For more information, contact the church office at 207-743-2290.

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