Who doesn’t love pancakes on Pancake Day!
Pancake Day is always Shrove Tuesday
Today, many still see Lent as a good way to ‘give something up’, with many people giving up things like chocolate, crisps, and sweets. Then on Easter Sunday – diving into their long-awaited treats.
Like Easter, Shrove Tuesday will move every year – but it is always 47 Days before Easter Sunday. On this day in historic England, Christians would go to church to confess their sins and have their soles cleaned. They would then be ‘shriven’ – which is where the word Shrove comes from.
Let’s call it Pancake Day
In the UK – and some other countries like Ireland, Shrove Tuesday is also called Pancake Day. But why?
For those giving up luxurious and rich-tasting foods (like butter, eggs, and sugar), Shrove Tuesday is their last chance until Easter Sunday to enjoy these ingredients. What better way to do that than make a delicious pancake batter mix and produce lots of pancakes with lovely fillings?
Today, we would look at lemon juice and sugar, or even chocolate, hazelnut spread, fruit, and or ice-cream.
Facts about pancakes:
- As far back as 1439, pancakes have appeared in cookery books
- On average we consume two pancakes per person on Pancake Day. As a nation, it means we get through 117 million pancakes in one day!
- Pancakes have become such a popular Shrove Tuesday tradition that on this day, a whopping 52 million eggs are used in the UK alone! That’s 22 million more than your average day. Egg-citing stuff!
- The largest pancake ever made and flipped measured 15m x 2.5cm and weighed 3 tonnes
- The largest number tossed in the shortest time = 349 in 2 minutes achieved by Dean Gould at Felixstowe, Suffolk in 1995
- The longest race in the quickest time was held in Melbourne, Australia. Jan Stickland covered 384m in 59.5 seconds on 19 February 1985.
- The most famous pancake race is in Olney, Buckinghamshire where according to tradition, a lady of Olney was making pancakes when she heard the Shrove Tuesday church bell ring – she set off to church, running, and still carrying her pancake pan. World famous, today the Olney pancake race requires competitors to don an apron and head scarf or hat – but you can only enter if you are a local housewife!
- The Pancake Grease at Westminster School is quite a highlight. The school cook tosses a massive pancake over a 5 meter bar and the boys run to catch a piece of it.
What do other countries call Pancake Day?:
- In Germany, it’s called ‘Fastnacht’ (meaning ‘Eve of the Fast’)
- In Iceland, it’s called ‘Sprengidagur’ (meaning ‘Bursting Day’)
- In France, it’s called ‘Mardi Gras’, (meaning ‘Fat Tuesday’)
- Mardi Gras celebrations are held all over the world and none are more colourful than in Brazil. And for many people, Mardi Gras means party time…