This week, Christian communities across the world celebrated "Shrove Tuesday". The name is derived from the practice of "shriving" or the confession and absolution of sin that takes place prior to the start of Lent. Traditionally, many communities use the final day before Lent as an occasion in which to eat up the last of the rich foods that remain in the house and hold a big celebration before a long period of discipline and atonement. At one point, rich foods such as eggs, meat, oils and butter were strictly prohibited during the 40 days of Lent. Therefore, it became customary to eat all of these foods that remained in the house and to enjoy one last big feast on the day before the 40-day fast. The well-known name for this time period is Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday") and reflects the tradition of enjoying rich foods on this final day before Lent. Another common name for the holiday is Carnival which also refers to this last enjoyment of rich foods. Some believe this term is derived from the medieval Latin carnem levare or carnelevarium, which means to take away or remove meat.
Although many associate Mardi Gras as a New Orleans tradition where merriment and amusement serve as the central themes for Fat Tuesday’s evening of excess. Although, I would actually say the festivity of Mardi Gras didn’t really reach its pinnacle on February 25 (Fat Tuesday). Instead, it hit its peak on Valentine’s Day.
On February 14, the Class of 2020 celebrated an annual event simply known as Spirit Night. On this evening, current students, their families, alumni and the parents of our graduates return for a night of immense celebration. The event offered various food, beverages and delicious desserts. And as well, this memorable night also contained a relay contest for all ages to enjoy: Egg and Spoon Relay (Pre-K/Kindergarten), Crabwalk (1st and 2nd grades); Balloon Popping Relay (3rd and 4th grades); Hula Hoop (5th grade); Cheerleading Uniform Relay (6th and 7th grades). In addition, the evening also included an abundance of raffles and various activity games: Soda Ring Toss; Corn Hole; Bean Bag Tic-Tac-Toe; Flip Cup Tic-Tac-Toe; Cake and Snack Attack Wheel, Lollipop Tree, Basketball Shoot-off; Hockey shoot-out; and the Golf Hole-in-One.
Before the night would end, the Class of 2020 would also go on to perform a well-choreographed dance number where each member of the 8th grade danced in unison. Watching the entertaining moves of our oldest students brought countless smiles to all those who attended this special occasion. And as the final event of our annual Spirit Night fundraiser, the wonderful tradition of the 8th Grade vs. Parents Basketball Game was played. As fate would have it, the Class of 2020 was victorious and won 33-31.
I would like to thank all of the 8th parents and the time they spent in preparation for this event. And as well, I am grateful to Katie Wilder and Clemmy Smith for all of the behind the scenes organization and leadership that they offered to this unique tradition.
What an amazing community we have at St. Agnes. We are truly blessed!