Frying Pan with Pancakes

The History

Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day if you prefer, marks the last day before the beginning of lent. It’s celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday and this year falls on the 28th February. While you drool over the thought of the delicious toppings you’ll be layering on your pancake, we’ve taken a look at the history behind this sweet-sounding day and why we celebrate it.

During Lent many individuals commit to fast or give up certain types of luxuries. On Shrove Tuesday Christians would traditionally have a feast day before lent so they could use the foods they were about to give up. To avoid waste many would empty their cupboard to flip themselves some delicious goodness.

It is actually thought that Pancake ingredients represent the four pillars of the Christian faith:

Eggs: Creation

Flour: Nourishment

Salt: Wholesomeness

Milk: Purity

One of the quirkier Shrove Tuesday traditions we’ve come across is Pancake Day races. This supposedly started all the way back in 1445. A woman from Olney in Buckinghamshire was making Pancakes in her kitchen when she heard the chime of church bells and realised she was going to be late for a date. With pan still in hand, she made a mad dash for the church, still tossing her pancakes to stop them from burning.

So while you’re tossing those Pancakes in your kitchen this year, think back to where this all began and the real reason this day is being celebrated year in year out.