Pancake Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is fast approaching.
It takes place the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.
But why do we eat pancakes that day?
What is the religious connection and is it a purely Irish or Catholic thing?
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Here’s everything you need to know about Pancake Tuesday ahead of next week’s delicious day.
When is Pancake Tuesday this year?
Pancake Tuesday falls on the following Tuesday, March 1. That means a little over a week until the delicious day. The perfect time to stock up on all the pancake toppings known to man.
Why does the date of Pancake Tuesday change every year?
The date of Pancake Tuesday changes every year as it is determined by Easter’s place in the calendar. Even though the date changes, it still falls on the eve of Ash Wednesday.
What is Mardi Gras?
If you’re a Christian, chances are you’ve heard Pancake Tuesday called Shrove Tuesday.
The word Shrove comes from the word “shrive” which means the absolution of sins by doing penance.
It takes its name from Christians who try to be “shriveled up” before Lent.
Christians would confess their sins and ask for absolution. A bell would ring to call the confession and this bell is called “the pancake bell”. It is still used to this day.
But why do we eat pancakes?
Pancakes are eaten on Mardi Gras as it was the last day to get rid of all fatty foods from the kitchen cupboard before Lent.
Things like eggs, sugar, and milk were not traditionally eaten during Lent, so they had to be eaten in advance.
Pancakes feature in cookbooks dating back to 1439, but the tradition of tossing them is thought to originate from a pagan ritual.