Pancake Day 2018: When is Shrove Tuesday and why do we celebrate? | Life | Life & Style


The tastiest day of the year takes place next week and is the perfect opportunity for a good serving of guilt-free pancakes.

The good news is that Pancake Day, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras – which is French for Fat Tuesday – starts earlier this year than in 2017.

Pancake Day will also mark the last day of feasting before Christians worldwide begin Lent on Ash Wednesday. 

So when does Pancake Day take place?

When is Pancake Day 2018?

The scrumptious day of feasting on pancakes, doughnuts and other sweet treats starts on Tuesday February 13.

Pancake Day is the last day to precede Ash Wednesday, and the date is predetermined by the flexible date of Easter.

In the UK, the Easter season includes 40 days of Lent and Holy Week, culminating on Easter Sunday on April 1.

The date of the Christian holy day changes every year because unlike Christmas, it always falls on the first Sunday following the fist full moon after the first day of Spring.

In past years, the date of Pancake Day has varied wildly due to this, ranging between February and March.

Pancake Day fell on February 28 in 2017 and will be observed on March 5 next year.

Why is Pancake Day called Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is the day directly before Ash Wednesday and is a significant day to observe for Christians.

The name itself is believed to derive from the old English word Shriven, which means going to confession.

Lent always starts on a Wednesday, therefore it became popular for Christians to go to confession the day before. 

Shrove Tuesday was also the last chance to use up all of the fattening ingredients stored around the house, which families would otherwise give up for Lent.

These ingredients included milk, eggs and butter which combined together made delicious pancakes.

How is Pancake Day celebrated?

Besides tucking into plates of the tasty treat, there are multiple ways the day is observed.

Today many towns and villages around the UK, celebrate pancake day by hosting fun races where kids and adults alike race down the streets while attempting to flip pancakes in frying pans.

Legend has it the fun tradition dates back to the 15th century when a Buckinghamshire woman rushed to confession while making pancakes.

In other places like the US, Brazil and even Australia, Mardi Gras is a cause for parades and joyous celebrations.

Mardi Gras carnivals are known for their colourful dancers and singing revellers. The most popular carnivals take place in Rio de Janeiro and New Orleans.



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