Straight after Valentines Day comes Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake Day on Tuesday 16th February.
The day always falls on the seventh week before Easter.
It is also the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the the period known as Lent.
The tradition of eating pancakes stems from the time when people were trying to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fasting season of Lent. It is traditionally a period where you stop eating certain foods i.e. sugar, fats, flour and eggs. They would empty their cupboards of these products and make lots of pancakes before lent started.
It takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday and pancake races have been going around for years. London has a number of famous ones.The Parliamentary Pancake Race starts from the Victoria Tower Gardens but due to Covid-19 has been cancelled this year as have many other well known pancake races in the UK. . The Parliamentary Pancake Race has has probably the most high-profile participants which feature three teams made up of MP’s, Lords and members of the press to help raise funds for the charity ‘Rehab’.
Some original fillings for your pancakes start with chocolate (yum, yum) fruits, syrups, fudge, sugar and ice cream, or of course, flamed with brandy (crepe Suzette).
My favourite site for recipes is the BBC Good Food Pancake Day Selection with 56 to choose from including Red Velvet Pancakes and G & T Pancakes and yet G & T as in gin and tonic. What more could you ask…
The following day is Ash Wednesday.
It marks the first day of fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control. Luxury or rich foods such as meat and dairy are often avoided by those taking part in Lent. Also abstention from personal ‘bad habit’s such as watching television or eating too much sugar is also commonly practised. It is a day in which Christians go through a period of 40 days of fasting, designed to help them remember the same amount of time Jesus spent fasting in the Wilderness.