If you’ve chosen to study English at our English Language School in Manchester, Liverpool or Dublin, you may soon start to hear about Pancake Day. It’s set to fall on the 5th March this year, which means it’s only a few weeks away.
But what exactly is this so-called day of pancakes, otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday? And why is it celebrated?
Pancake Day is another name for Shrove Tuesday, and it always takes place exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, which is why the actual date can change every year. Essentially it is the last day before Lent begins, which is an important time of the year for Christians all around the world.
It’s known as “Mardi Gras”, or “Fat Tuesday” and France, and other countries like the USA have also adopted the label. Ash Wednesday, the day after Pancake day, marks the start of Lent and traditionally people give up something up until Easter Sunday. For example, not eating certain foods, or not drinking any coffee. So, Shrove Tuesday is the last day that many people indulge themselves, by making some simple delicious pancakes.
Just in case you don’t already know – a pancake is a flat cake that’s usually round and thin. It’s generally prepared using a starch-based batter, which can contain butter, eggs and milk. They were originally thought to have been an ingenious way to use up leftover foods like eggs and sugar before the fast started in Lent. This is why the cakes became associated with Shrove Tuesday.
Now Pancake Day serves as the perfect excuse to cook some of these tasty snacks using a hot surface such as a griddle or frying pan. You’ll find people serving up stacks of them do enjoy!
One of the oldest traditions that takes place on this day, is the pancake race, which supposedly dates back to 1445. Back then a woman, who a the time was making a pancake was said to have been caught out by the sudden ringing of the church bells before she’d finished.
She then ran from her home all the way to her local church, so that she didn’t miss the service, all while carrying her frying pan and flipping the pancake. This old tale was thought to have taken place in Olney, Buckinghamshire.
The town still holds a now famous pancake race every year on Shrove Tuesday. When the church bells ring, locals race with their pancakes and pans over a 415-yard course, traditionally wearing an apron.
If you’re a student currently enrolled on an English language course in the UK, then you might be interested in taking part in Pancake Day, by making some of your own.
They couldn’t be easier to make, and all you need is 3 core ingredients; plain flour, eggs, and some milk. You’ll find an abundance of recipes online, but basically you just need to whisk the ingredients together into a mixture. Then pour some of the mixture, either onto a non-stick frying pan or a specially designed pancake pan, to create your pancake.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you can then add a variety of toppings to your pancake. Some of the most popular options include; icing sugar, maple syrup, or just a simple squeeze of lemon. You could always go for more savoury options, if you don’t particularly have a sweet tooth.
By enrolling at our English Language School in Manchester, Liverpool or Dublin, you’ll be able to enjoy Pancake Day and many other traditions, as you study English with like minded students at your own pace.
Contact us for more information.