8 March 2011 is a very special day. It has many names: Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Grass to name but for many of us it is Pancake Day, the day to eat those scummy pancakes with as many different kinds of delicious fillings as you can find.
It is also the day for Pancake races. A tradition that began in 1445, when a housewife in Olney, England started baking her pancakes rather late. They were not quite finished when the church bell rang. Because she didn’t not want to leave her pancakes to burn, she hurried to the “shriving” (special church service) carrying her frying pan and the pancakes with her. Today you can find pancake race all over the UK including here in Newbury in Market Square commencing at 12 noon.
Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the period which Christians call Lent and 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, which starts tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.
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