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29 October 2014

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The history of pancake day
Shrove Tuesday
You can't cook a pancake over a candle

Shrove Tuesday is part of the Christian calendar which commemorates the eve of Lent (40 days and nights of fasting and prayers before Easter).

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It is also known as Mardi Gras (literally "fat Tuesday" in French), Carnival (from the Latin for "farewell to the flesh"), and Fasnacht (the Germanic "night of the fast").

The word Shrove comes from the Old English word, Shrive - to confess one’s sins. Shrove Tuesday is a day where one confesses their sins and asks God for absolution.

Shrove Tuesday is celebrated in many different ways around the world; the Brazilians samba in Rio and the people of New Orleans throw their most famous party of the year - Mardi Gras.
In England the day is also called Pancake Tuesday.

Eggs and butter were among food that used to be forbidden during Lent, so they were often used up in pancakes.

Pancake races are also held where people must successfully toss and flip their pancakes into the air before crossing the finish line. Points are awarded for time, for number and height of flips, and number of times the pancake turns over.

It is believed that the tradition of pancake races was born out of women rushing to church to confess their sins before the noon cut off time, clutching their half finished pancakes.

Today, people tend to give up less vital dietary ingredients such as chocolate.

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