Having made it through January in one piece, the days are starting to get a little longer, spring is on the horizon – and Pancake Day is looming.
The day known as Shrove Tuesday isn’t always on a fixed date and changes every year, depending on when Easter happens to be.
But just when is it this year?
If you want to get your supplies in and start planning your toppings now – or just practice your flipping skills – here’s what you need to know about Pancake Day 2021.
When is Pancake Day 2021?
This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday, February 16.
The day always falls on the seventh week before Easter, and the day before Ash Wednesday – beginning the period known as Lent.
Why is Pancake Day always on a Tuesday?
The day always falls on a Tuesday because of the period of time it marks between the start of Lent and Easter.
The following day, Ash Wednesday, marks the start of Lent, in which Christians go through a period of 40 days of fasting, designed to help them remember the same amount of time Jesus spent fasting in the Wilderness.
This culminates in Easter, with Easter Sunday this year falling on April 4.
What is Shrove Tuesday about?
Shrove is the past tense of the word shrive, which means to present oneself to a priest for confession, penance and absolution.
The day, being the day before the Lent fast begins, is for people to gain penance from God before they begin fasting – hence the name Shrove.
Shrove Tuesday is also a chance for people to enjoy rich and fatty foods as a last celebration before fasting begins.
Pancakes are traditionally eaten because they were a way to use up the rick foods people has – such as eggs and milk – before they went bad during the long fast.
According to religious texts the ingredients are also said to represent the four pillars of the Christian faith – eggs for creation, flour as the mainstay of the human diet, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity.
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