Today is Veilchendienstag which literally means Violet Tuesday. It is also referred to as Shrove Tuesday and it is the day before Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch) and usually falls between February 3 and March 9. It has many names, including “Fat Tuesday”, “Mardi Gras”, the “Tuesday of Carnival”, “Pancake Day” or “Faschingsdienstag”.
The origins of this flowery name are not quite clear, historians assume that the expression evolved because the day before “Violet Tuesday” is often referred to as “Rose Monday” (Rosenmontag) and it was natural to be looking for a similar name with a flower in its designation.
Whatever the historic origins of the name, Veilchendienstag (Violet Tuesday) is observed in many ways worldwide. No matter what its name is, the day before Ash Wednesday has long been a time for eating and merry making. The world's longest Carnival celebration is in Brazil but many regions have popular events on the day. The Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans is typical of the masquerades and dancing in the streets that take place in many countries on this day as people prepare for the long Lenten fast.
And what a better day than Veilchendienstag (Violet Tuesday) to be baking miniature Marzipan Gugelhupfs …
…with an light violet icing….
…and incredibly delicious candied violets as decoration.
And to be enjoying these tiny Gugelhupfs alongside a cup of tea called Earl Grey´s Lady Violet, a wonderfully fragrant black tea from Darjeeling, with cornflower blossoms and natural bergamot flavor...
... to which we like to add some pretty rock candy.
- Earl Grey´s Lady Violet tea from Tee Gschwendner (www.teagschwendner.com)
- Miniature Gugelhupf baking pan called "Gugelhupf Konfekt" and violet liquid food color both from Staedter (www.staedter.de)
- Candied violets called "kandierte Veilchen" from Karl Müller Gewürzmanufaktur (www.shop.gewuerz-mueller.de)
- Rock candy called "weißer Kandiszucker" from Pfeifer & Langen (www.pfeifer-langen.com)
- Vintage dishes with violet design from Bareuther Waldsassen (www.ebay.de)