What’s the meaning behind Shrove Tuesday and why is it called Pancake Day? – The Sun | The Sun

SHROVE TUESDAY includes a tradition where people will make and eat pancakes, hence many people knowing this as pancake day.

Here, we look at the history behind the tradition and why pancakes are eaten.

What does Shrove mean?

Historically, shriving was a ritual that Christians would go through to confess their sins before receiving absolution for their wrong-doings.

Being absolved of sins would free the person from the guilt and pain that their sins had been causing them.

According to This Is Church: "In the Catholic or Orthodox context, the absolution is pronounced by a priest.

"This tradition is very old. Over 1000 years ago a monk wrote in the Anglo-Saxon Ecclesiastical Institutes.



Find out why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday


"In the week immediately before Lent everyone shall go to his confessor and confess his deeds and the confessor shall so shrive him."

Years later, the idea of Shrove Tuesday evolved as a way for Christians to use up food before fasting for Lent.

Traditionally, many different types of food would be given up including meat, fish, eggs and dairy-based foods.

Christians would ensure all foods were cooked and consumed so they wouldn't be wasted during the 40 day period of fasting.



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But within the process of shriving, flour was added in to the mix – and pancakes were born.

Here’s nine interesting facts about Pancake Day

The most flips anyone has ever done with a single pancake is 349 in two minutes

In France, people make a wish before flipping their pancakes, and do so while holding a coin in the other hand

On average, Brits eat two pancakes each on Shrove Tuesday… but we all know someone who eats at least THREE times more

The Guinness World Record for the most pancakes served in eight hours is 34,818

The highest pancake toss was 329cm high

On Pancake Day in Lithuania they consume pancakes and donuts

In Finland they eat green pea soup and pastry. In Iceland they eat salted meat and peas

Pancake Day races are common across Britain in towns and villages. The race is followed by a church service

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day is a moveable feast it can fall anywhere between February 3 to March 9

How is Shrove Tuesday's date decided?

Shrove Tuesday falls on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is always 47 days before Easter Sunday.

The date varies each year, but Shrove Tuesday always takes place between February 3 and March 9.

The period of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, mimics the 40 days and 40 nights that Jesus spent in the desert.

This is why traditionally Christians will fast for this time, although it has developed into the idea of giving up one particular vice such as chocolate or even social media.

Why do we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday?

With Lent just one day away, Shrove Tuesday provides the perfect opportunity to banish any last minute indulgences – and a chance to use up any fatty foods.

That's why in the US, Shrove Tuesday is known as Mardi Gras  – which is French for Fat Tuesday.

Pancakes have a simple recipe needing just flour, milk and eggs to make.

As all food was used up in preparation for Lent, the humble pancake was born.

This tradition has endured as they are quick and easy to make, no matter how skilled a cook you are.

The best thing is you can mix it up and make lots of different pancake dishes – sweet and savoury.

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