Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Pancake Day
Today is Pancake Day!
Here are some interesting facts you may not have known about this day.
What Is Pancake Day?
Pancake Day is Shrove Tuesday. It is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and It is celebrated by eating pancakes.
Why Do We Celebrate Pancake Day?
It was traditional in many societies to eat pancakes or other foods made with the butter, eggs and fat that would be given up during the Lenten season. Pancakes are a good way to use up rich foods which would most likely be given up during lent.
For Christians who observe Shrove Tuesday it is a time of self-examination and reflection. It is a time for them to seek God’s help in their spiritual growth or other areas in their life that need changing.
What You Didn’t Know About Pancake Day
Did you know that in Great Britain Shrove Tuesday used to be a half-holiday? Church bells would ring at 11:00am to announce the start of the half-holiday.
What Traditions Are Associated with Pancake Day?
There is a fun tradition of people participating in pancake races. Participants, wearing an apron and a scarf, are required to run 415 yards carrying a frying pan with a pancake. They must toss the pancake at the start and finish of the race course. This tradition apparently started in 1445. A housewife was busy making pancakes and forgot the time. She raced out of her house, pan in hand and tossing pancakes, when she heard the church bell ring.
What Is Pancake Day Known As In Other Countries?
- Denmark – Fastelavn
- Estonia – Vastlapäev
- Finland – Laskiainen
- Germany – Fastnachtsdienstag, Faschingsdienstag, Karnevalsdienstag or Veilchendienstag
- Hungary – Húshagyókedd
- Iceland – Sprengidagur (Bursting Day)
- Lithuania – Užgavėnės
- Netherlands – “vastenavond”, or in Limburgish dialect “vastelaovend”
- Norway – Fastelavn
- Poland – Tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday)
- Slovenia – Kurentovanje
- Sweden – Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday)
- Switzerland – Güdeldienstag or Güdisdienstag (preceded by Güdismontag).
In some parts of the world Pancake Day is also known as “Mardi Gras.”