Food & Drink

27th February 2022

Pancake Day: What’s it all about?

person pouring syrup on pancake
Image credit: Photo by Chad Montano from Unsplash

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?

When is Pancake Day?

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.

Why Do We Celebrate Pancake Day?

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!

wooden church pews in church
Image credit: Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe from Unsplash

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!

Is Shrove Tuesday universal?

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.

How can I celebrate Pancake Day?

Now that Shrove Tuesday is a worldwide tradition, people from all backgrounds and religions can take part in its celebrations.

pancakes on brown tray
Image credit: Photo by Brigitte Tohm from Unsplash

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:

  • Grimsby’s Pancake Day Race
  • Pancake making cooking classes
  • Dressing up competitions

In Liverpool:

  • Liverpool Parish Church – Chef pancake flipping race
  • Bills (Liverpool One)- £7.45 Pancake day offer
  • The Cosy Club (Paradise Street)- Build your own pancake stack
  • The Tavern Company – 50% off pancakes all day and night

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!