Why do we celebrate pancake day and what is the history of Mardi Gras?
With pancake day, many families will choose their recipes and prepare the ingredients, ready to enjoy a few sweet or savory treats.
However, whether out of natural curiosity or a child’s questions, some of us may also seek to learn a little more about the tradition and its origin.
For Christians, the 40 days before Easter is known as Lent and represents the period of time that saw Jesus fasting and being tempted by the devil in the desert, according to the Bible.
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Lent would traditionally see Christians fasting and engaging in prayer while generally forgoing foods like meat, fish, eggs or milk.
A convenient way to use up many traditionally abstained foods was to make pancakes, using eggs, milk, and butter.
Whether you’re forgoing something for Lent or just looking to whip up something fun for the family, there are plenty of great pancake recipes available, from BBC Good Food’s Fluffy American Pancakes with Cherry Syrup to Pancake Recipes” traditional’ with lemon and sugar.
What is the history of Mardi Gras?
English Heritage offers some details on the etymology and history of Mardi Gras telling us: “The word ‘gras’ comes from the ancient Roman Catholic practice of being ‘shriven’ – meaning to confess one’s sins. The stunted bell would be rung on Shrove Tuesday to call people to church for confession.
“Before Lent could begin in earnest, all edible temptations had to be removed. This took place over a period of days known as the ‘Shrovetide’.
“Meat like bacon would be eaten on ‘Collop Monday’ (a collop is a thin slice of meat). And on Shrove Tuesday, eggs, butter and fat stocks would run out. One of the most The simple way to dispose of these items was to turn them into pancakes or donuts, a custom that continued long after the Church of England split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century.
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