In the UK, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day (or Pancake Tuesday to some people) because it is the one day of the year when almost everyone eats a pancake.
In 2010 Pancake Day is on Tuesday 16 February.
Read on to find out why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and other facts about this special time of year.
What is Pancake Day?
Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday) is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent. It is traditional on this day to eat pancakes in England.
Why are Pancakes eaten on Shrove Tuesday?
Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday is the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.
When is Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day)?
Shrove Tuesday always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday, so the date varies from year to year and falls between 3 February and 9 March.
Why do Christians call the day ’Shrove Tuesday’?
The name Shrove comes from the old word "shrive" which means to confess. On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people used to confess their sins so that they were forgiven before the season of Lent began.
What is Shrove Tuesday?
Shrove Tuesday is a day of celebration as well as penitence, because it’s the last day before Lent. Throughout the United Kingdom, and in other countries too, people indulge themselves on foods that traditionally aren’t allowed during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent.
What is an English Pancake?
A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a pan.
Caster sugar (superfine sugar) is sprinkled over the top and a dash of fresh lemon juice added. The pancake is then rolled. Some people add golden syrup or jam.
Other names for Shrove Tuesday
United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia - Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday.
Spain - Martes de Carnaval - last day of Carnival before Ash Wednesday and the period of Lent.
Brazil - Terça-feira gorda - Fat Tuesday - the final day of Brazilian Carnival.
Greece - Apocreas, which means "from the meat" since they don’t eat meat during Lent, either.
Sweden - Fettisdagen (Fat Tuesday).
USA In Catholic and French-speaking parts of the United States this day is called Mardi Gras.
Germany - "Fastnacht" (Also spelt "Fasnacht", "Fasenacht", "Fasteloven" (in the Rhine area) or "Fasching" in Bavaria.)
In Iceland the day is known as "Sprengidagur" (Bursting day).
Now check your knowledge and see how much you know about Pancake Day.