Pancake Day Facts

Pancake Day Facts
Pancake Day is also known around the world as Shrove Tuesday. It falls on the day before Ash Wednesday each year, the first day of Lent. Pancake Day was originally a pagan holiday in which eating pancakes during Shrovetide week was extremely important. The word shrove is derived from the word shrive which means to gain absolution from one's sins, through penance, which is important before the beginning of Lent. In the Christian faith Pancake Day is sometimes referred to as Pancake Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday. On Pancake Day the main activity is the consumption of pancakes, which is used by some organizations as a means to raise money for charities.
Interesting Pancake Day Facts:
In the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, Shrove Tuesday is often called Pancake Day or even Pancake Tuesday.
Mardi Gras is the French term for Fat Tuesday. It is tradition on this day to consume rich foods prior to the beginning of Lent the following day.
In German-American populations Pancake Tuesday is also referred to as Fastnacht Day.
On Pancake Day in Lithuania they consume pancakes and donuts.
In Polish communities in the United States Pancake Day is Paczki Day, and they eat a traditional pastry called a paczki.
Traditionally pancakes were consumed on Shrove Tuesday because it was a way to use up many of the ingredients people were not supposed to consume during Lent, including sugar, eggs, and milk. Lent is a 40 day period when people are not supposed to eat food that gives pleasure such as eggs, dairy, and meat.
Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday falls exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday. This means that the date can move depending on when Easter Sunday falls.
IHOP is a restaurant chain in the United States that offers customers free pancakes on Pancake Day in an effort to raise money for Children's Miracle Network hospitals. In 2011 IHOP served 4 million free pancakes on Pancake Day and raised $2.5 million for charities.
In Buckinghamshire, Britain, there has been a pancake race held every year since 1445. During the race women run 415 yards carrying a frying pan, tossing their pancake at the beginning and end of the race. They must be dressed in a scarf and apron, and men must dress the same if they want to participate.
The Pancake Day race is common across Britain in towns and villages that celebrate with a race followed by a church service.
Not all countries eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. In Finland they eat green pea soup and pastry. In Iceland they eat salted meat and peas.
In Switzerland the day is referred to as Gudisdienstag which is derived from a word that means 'a stomach full of food'.
In Whitechapel, Lancashire children knock on doors and ask for a pancake.
In Russia and Ukraine Christian festivals are also traditionally associated with pancakes at that time of year.
Because Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day is a moveable feast it can fall anywhere between February 3rd to March 9th.

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