It’s Shrove Tuesday and time to indulge in some of our favourite treats, pancakes. Whether they’re topped with lemon and sugar or bacon and eggs we love ’em! To celebrate today in all of its pancake perfection we’ve tossed together our top five fun Shrove Tuesday facts.
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday. As Easter is calculated according to lunar variations this means that Shrove Tuesday can be as early as 3rd February or as late as 9th March.
The name Shrove Tuesday derives from the word ‘shrive’, meaning to absolve oneself from sin. Christians would traditionally shrive themselves before the start of Lent, a time of acting and reflection. However there are also arguments that Pagans may have originated the idea of eating warm round cakes which symbolised the sun.
Pancakes have a very long history and a recipe for them appears in a cookery book as far back as 1439.
There are various theories the ingredients in pancakes. Some say it was a chance to use naughty foods like eggs and milks before the start of the Lenten period, whereas others say that the traditional ingredients of pancakes each have a particular meaning: eggs for creation and new life, flour symbolising the mainstay of life, salt meaning wholesomeness and milk indicating purity.
According to tradition the idea of a pancake race originated in Olney in Buckinghamshire in 1455. One housewife was making pancakes when she heard the bell indicating it was time for church. She ran to the church still clutching her frying pan, thus the pancake race (and the takeaway) were born. A very famous pancake race is still held in Olney to this day.
However you have them, we hope you enjoy your pancakes!