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The ancient festival of Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent began.
Even people who know Mardi is French for Tuesday often forget that Mardi Gras has this literal translation, and that "carnival" is from the old Italian carnelevare, which means "taking meat away".
In medieval Britain fried doughnuts and pancakes were traditionally eaten on Fat Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday or what in the Americans might call Mardi Gras. So using any excess fat, which wouldn"t be fresh by the end of the Lent period. See Doughnut
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