National Pancake Day
In English speaking countries, Tuesday is the term used to refer to the day after Collop Monday and before Ash Wednesday. The liturgical season of Lent begins at Ash Wednesday. In some countries this day is also known as a National Pancake Day because a lot of people eat pancakes on this day.
You may wonder why pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent. It is like this because, it is a period of liturgical fasting, during which only the plainest food can be eaten. That’s why rich ingredients such as milk, sugar, eggs, or flour are disposed of immediately prior to the commencement of the fast. As you probably already know, pancakes were the perfect way of using these ingredients and moreover they provided a minor celebratory feast prior to the fast itself.
National Pancake Day is celebrated in English countries. One time in 1634 on a Pancake Day, when pancake race was held in the village in the United Kingdom, William Fennor wrote this in Palinodia: ‘And toss their pancakes up for fear they burn”. You already think that Pancake Day has a long history, but in fact the tradition is even older. Pancake racing had started long before 1634. The famous Pancake Race at Olney Buckinghamshire has been held since 1445.
During the Pancake Day, races are held. The contestants of the races are usually woman. They are carrying a pan in the hand and they run to the finishing line. During the race, they are tossing the pancakes. As the pancakes are very thin, some skills are required to toss them while running. The winner is the woman who crosses the line first and tosses the pancake a certain number of times. It is strongly believed that this tradition originated when a housewife from Olney who was busy preparing the pancakes and forgot completely what was the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. When she realized it was late, she raced out of the house to church. In her hands she was still carrying her frying pan with pancakes.
In America the tradition of Pancake Races has become popular since 1950. The event was brought to Liberal, and in 1950 the international challenge was accepted by Reverend Ronald Collins, Vicar of Olney. Since this year people from Liberal, Kansas, USA and Olney have been taking part in the “International Pancake Day”. Pancake race is held between two towns on Shrove Tuesday, which is also known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. It is the last day before the Lenten season, when Christians are encouraged to give up luxuries. Competitors race along an agreed upon course. To determine a winner, times of all of the two towns’ competitors are compared. Kansas tops England at Annual Pancake Day Race.
A tradition since 1950, the International running of the Pancake Race has become a symbolic event of peace and unity between the England and United States. It is customary for Olney and Liberal to send dignitaries to each country, so that an official representative is present at the race. At the end of the race, the dignitary congratulates the race winner with the Kiss of Peace.
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There are also a few other recipe websites that I would like to recommend. If you like waffles then go to http://www.waffle-recipe.com, they have lots and lots of recipes for different waffles from Belgian to Liege. Then there is also this site that specializes in potato recipes and has a nice section on how to make potato pancakes, great for those leftover mashed potatoes - check them out!