Before we give up anything for six weeks during Lent, only to indulge in countless quantities of Easter eggs, Pancake Tuesday is celebrated.
Pancake Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, falls in mid-February and marks the day before Lent begins.
Although it is traditionally a Catholic holiday, many people from various cultures and religions celebrate it around the world today.
So, what date is it and why do we celebrate Pancake Tuesday? Here’s what you need to know.
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When is Pancake Day 2022?
Pancake Day is on Tuesday, March 1 in 2022.
The day changes every year, according to when Lent falls, although Pancake Day always falls in February or March.
When is Ash Wednesday 2022?
Ash Wednesday always follows Shrove Tuesday, which means it falls on March 2 in 2022.
What is Slow?
Many Catholics will give up luxuries such as sweet foods or favorite dishes during Lent.
Traditionally, they would have given up meat and dairy, though fish could still be consumed.
For the hours before Catholics receive their ashes on Ash Wednesday, adult Catholics will often still refrain from eating anything at all.
This is because the Bible tells how Jesus abstained from eating for 40 days and 40 nights on his journey into the desert before he was crucified.
Catholics replicate the sacrifice Christ made, which is known as Lenten sacrifice.
Why do we celebrate Pancake Day?
Pancake Tuesday is the traditional feast day before Lent begins, and is celebrated across the United Kingdom and parts of the Commonwealth.
France and the US celebrate Mardi Gras on this day, as it signifies the end of a six-week carnival season and is also known as ‘Fat Tuesday’.
Its proper name is Shrove Tuesday and it marks the day before Ash Wednesday, when Catholics may begin to abstain from eating meat, eggs, animal produce, or other foods or habits for 40 days.
Anglo-Saxon Catholics would also often attend confession at their parish church, where they would be ‘shriven’, or forgiven for their sins. This practice also gave Shrove Tuesday its name.
A bell would be rung out for people to attend church, which became known as the pancake bell, as it was rung at noon as a gesture to stop working and begin to prepare your pancakes.
After confession, families would go home to use up any eggs and fats they had before embarking on their slow fast.
The easiest way to use up such produce was to make a pancake-like batter and fry it in fats, as a means of ensuring food did not go to waste.
Pancake recipe for Pancake Day 2022
Pancakes today are much sweeter than they were in the past, and are usually topped with golden syrup.
Salted butter for cooking
(if possible, make your batter a few hours ahead and leave it to set in the fridge)
1. Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl, until the batter is smooth.
2. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add a small knob of butter, allowing it to coat the pan with a thin layer of grease.
3. Ladle a dollop of batter onto the pan. When bubbles begin to form on the surface it is time to flip!
4. Cook until the underside turns golden brown.
Serve with any of your favorite toppings.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.