Pancake day!

Today is Pancake Day so get your eggs, butter, sugar, and lemon juice at the ready! Pancake Day (or Shrove Tuesday) has fallen around a week earlier than last year and it falls exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Pancakes have become such a popular tradition on Shrove Tuesday, that on this day 52 million eggs are used in the UK! That’s 22 million more than the average day!

The history of Pancake Day:

Shrove Tuesday occurs the day before Ash Wednesday, and it comes from the word ‘shrive’ which means to listen to someone’s sins and forgive them. In preparation for Lent centuries ago, those observing the fast would use Shrove Tuesday to also purify and remove any of the items that they were foregoing for the 40 days from their home. Traditionally this included meat, fish, eggs, fats, milk and sugar therefore Pancake Day was developed out of the practical need to use up all the remaining eggs, butter, milk or other animal products that were in the house before Lent began.

How is Pancake Day celebrated today?

Whilst lots of people still eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, there are also a few other traditions that still take place.

Pancake Races:

Pancake races are held on Shrove Tuesday, with the most famous one taking place in Olney, Buckinghamshire. It is said that pancake races started after a housewife in the village of Olney was in the process of frying pancakes when she heard the church bell summoning the congregation. So she didn’t miss the service, she ran down the street with her frying pan, tossing the pancake to prevent it from burning. Thus, the tradition of pancake racing began.

Shrovetide Football:

Another popular tradition that still takes place is Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide Football. Played in the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne every Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, this exciting and dramatic game is thought to be one of the oldest forms of football in the world. Unlike a conventional football match, Shrovetide Football is much longer and is played over two eight-hour periods. The goals are three miles apart and there are very few rules. The ball is rarely kicked but instead moves through a giant ‘hug’. There is no set pitch, and the game is played throughout the entire town, so shops and businesses board up their windows in preparation!

Will you be eating pancakes today? Send us your pictures of your pancakes!