It’s Pancake Day, meaning you have every excuse to put the dinner plans on hold and whip up a batch of fluffy flapjacks, maybe even some bacon, for family dinner tonight.
Pancake Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a celebration observed before Ash Wednesday leading up to the Christian festival of Easter.
Ash Wednesday marks the first day of Lent in the Christian church, a 40-day period of abstinence that precedes Easter, meaning Wednesday is the last day to indulge in certain foods.
According to Historic UK, the tradition grew out of Anglo-Saxon Christians going to confession and being ‘shriven’ of their sins. A bell would be rung to call people to confession, which later came to be known as the ‘Pancake Bell’ and is still rung today.
Shrove or Pancake Tuesday was the last day for people to use up their eggs and fats before embarking on the Lent fast, thus Pancake Day was born.
In certain countries such as France, Germany and the United Sates the day before Lent is celebrated with an event called Mardi Gras that usually includes a big parade.
This year Pancake Tuesday falls on March 5 although for the past five years it has been observed in February.
Whether you enjoy thin French crêpes, Japan’s jiggly souffle or traditional American pancakes, today’s your day.
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