Merry Shrovetide is an annual festival about the medieval and early modern history of Pancake Day and Carnival in Britain.
In medieval and Renaissance Britain, Shrove Tuesday was one of the biggest festivals of the year, and concluded a Carnival season of celebration known as Shrovetide. On the day before the fasting season of Lent began, a ‘Pancake Bell’ would ring, calling people to leave work behind and eat, drink and make merry on a grand scale.
The Merry Shrovetide Festival brings to light many of the forgotten customs of Shrove Tuesday, including music, dancing, plays, masques, jousts, football, and sinister traditions of violence such as rioting and animal blood sports. Through creative and engaging events, it explores and discusses the historical significance of the holiday, and the central importance of festivity in lives past and present.
The festival is based on the doctoral research of the University of Bristol’s Taylor Aucoin, and is produced in partnership with artists and community organisations from throughout the UK. Explore this website to find out more about the history of Shrove Tuesday, the creators behind the festival, and the exciting line up of upcoming events.