Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Gratitude Day 12: Pancakes

It's pancake day! I really like pancakes - I usually prefer the big spread out ones with sugar and lemon, but I'm equally comfy with those small squat american ones drizzled in maple syrup. Some of the girls from my knitting group and I are going to the bar to eat pancakes today in celebration.

The point of pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is that it is the day before Lent. Shrove comes from the word shrive which means 'to confess' - it was a custom for Christians to confess and do penance and thus be 'shriven' before Lent started. Fat Tuesday refers to eating lots of rich food before starting the fast for Lent. Different countries have their own customs around this, but pancakes were an ideal way to use up foods like milk, eggs and sugar. It is also traditional in some places to have pancake races through the town.

Many of the tradtions have long since lost their religious meaning for many people, especially in these multi-cultural times. I must say that I don't have much of a Christian heritage short of growing up in a nominally Christian country, but I'm still pretty happy to eat pancakes regardless of the symbolism.

Bon appetit!


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