6th November 2023
You’re lying if you don’t love indulging in pancakes, crepes, and all their wonderful toppings on “Pancake Day”. The food of its namesake is yummy, but what is the day all about, and why do we celebrate it?
Pancake Day this year is on March 1st. The date changes each year (falling between Feb 3rd to March 9th) as it is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.
Therefore, it’s associated with Easter Sunday and is traditionally a Christian celebration / event.
Pancake day is a day of feasting (lucky us!) in which eggs and milk are used up in one last day of indulgence. This is Shrove Tuesday, which precedes Ash Wednesday (the official start of Lent).
So, what is Lent? It is the 40 days leading up to Easter and is a time of solemnity and self-reflection for Christians. It is called ‘Lent’ in English as it is the time of year when days are ‘lengthening’ in the northern hemisphere.
Traditionally, Anglo-Saxon Christians would go to confession on Shrove Tuesday to be absolved of their sins – to be “shriven”. Fun fact: The bell calling people to confession was known as the Pancake Bell!
Nowadays, Lent is a similar time for Christians to confess their failings and resolve to live a better, more godly life.
Traditionally, Lent was a time of fasting from certain foods such as eggs, meat, and fish. Nowadays people may give up a luxury such as chocolate or social media after the last day of indulgence of Nutella spread, syrup, peanut butter….
I’m already drooling!
Pancake Day is celebrated differently in different countries across the globe. In France and the USA, it is called ‘Mardi Gras’ or ‘Fat Tuesday’. In Spain, Italy, and Brazil, Shrove Tuesday marks the end of Carnival.
Now that Shrove Tuesday is a worldwide tradition, people from all backgrounds and religions can take part in its celebrations.
Many of us will just be eating our fill of pancakes, however, there are many events across the UK happening for Shrove Tuesday. These include:
Whatever you get up to, I hope you treat yourself with a day of gluttony…sorry I meant indulgence!
For more Food and Drink inspiration, check out the rest of our articles!