Around this time of year supermarket shelves are often full with delicious pancake toppings and ingredients. For many, making and flipping pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is a tradition, which precedes the start of the 40 days of Lent.
When is Shrove Tuesday 2020?
In 2020, Shrove Tuesday takes place on Tuesday, February 25.
Shrove Tuesday is followed by Ash Wednesday on February 26.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for most churches, which lasts for 40 days.
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The date of Shrove Tuesday changes every year and is dependent on when Easter occurs.
The day always falls on the seventh week before Easter, and the day before Ash Wednesday.
The significant date is referred to as Shrove Tuesday in the Christian calendar, but in the UK many people refer to the day as Pancake Day.
In France, the day is known as Mardis Gras (French for Fat Tuesday).
Why do we celebrate Shrove Tuesday with pancakes?
Lent is seen as a time for Christians to give up luxury foods.
As Shrove Tuesday marks the day before Lent, many people think its a good day to use up ingredients like milk, sugar, eggs and flour.
For this reason, it’s been a long tradition to mix these ingredients into a batter and fry it on Pancake Day.
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As well as being good for using up ingredients in the home, some people also believe the makings of a pancake also hold symbolic meaning.
The white of the milk in pancakes is seen by some to symbolise purity.
Wholesomeness is captured in the salt, and creation is represented by using eggs.
Flour is seen by some to symbolise life.
Why are there races on Pancake Day?
Some towns in Britain hold Pancake Day races every year, and the concept originates from a story from 1445.
The story says a woman, who was preoccupied with making pancakes, heard church bells calling and ran to the service still holding her frying pan.
The housewife lived in Olney, Buckinghamshire, and the town still holds annual Pancake Day races every year.
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