British Holidays – Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday

British Holidays – Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday

Hi everyone, I’m Gina. Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday to give it
its proper name, is the Tuesday seven weeks before Easter. It is the last day before a period of abstinence,
Lent, starts. In this lesson, you’re going to learn about
why it is commonly known as Pancake Day and why it is a special day in Britain. Do you know where the name Shrove Tuesday
comes from and what it means? We’ll show you the answer at the end of
this video. The traditional meaning of Shrove Tuesday
comes from it being the day before Lent begins. It was the last chance for people to eat whatever
they chose before they began to fast and was an opportunity for them to eat whatever was
left in their pantry or kitchen. We eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday because
they are easy to make and can be filled with any topping. British pancakes are thin batters, only a
few millimetres thick, that are cooked in a frying pan. Brave chefs will flip their pancakes to ensure
they’re cooked both sides but others will use a spatula. Popular toppings include plain lemon and sugar,
and sweeter things such as chocolate and fruit. As well as cooking pancakes, there are many
games and activities that are held in Britain. The most popular are pancake races. In these races, competitors run a short track,
maybe only 100 metres or so, while flipping a pancake in their frying pan. If you drop the pancake you have to stop and
pick it up! The winner is whoever completes the race first
with their pancake still intact. There is a famous race held in Olney. Participants must be housewives and wear an
apron. The winner is the first to complete a 375
metre course, give their pancake to the church bell ringer and receive a kiss. And now I’ll give you the answer to the earlier
quiz. Do you know where the name Shrove Tuesday
comes from and what it means? Shrove comes from the word “shrive” and
this means to confess. In the olden days, Shrove Tuesday would be
a day of confession for Christians before Lent began. How was this lesson? Did you learn something interesting? Do you eat pancakes in your country? If so, are they the same as British pancakes? Leave us a comment at And we’ll see you in the next lesson!

20 thoughts on “British Holidays – Pancake Day and Shrove Tuesday

  1. We have the same thing in Russia! We eat pancakes for a whole week before the Lent. They are very thin. We roll them and we put inside some filling. For example fish, caviar, eggs or honey or jam. We have also a tradition to burn a big effigy reppresenting winter. This holiday is very popular in Russia.

  2. Anglicans tried to get Protestants in the U.S. to drop the Catholic Shrove/Fat Tuesday traditions (street parades, masks, balls, king cakes, drinking, and general all around debauchery), and take pancake races up, instead.  

    It didn't take.  Protestants in the U.S. continue to celebrate Fat Tuesday the Catholic way, though they're happy to eat pancakes for breakfast, and after the partying (Pancakes are perfect after a night of drinking.  It's like they soak the alcohol right up).  But then, Protestants in the U.S. celebrate St. Patrick's Day, too, even if they're not Irish (The Irish heritage is important to the U.S., and it's the perfect welcoming of Spring.  "Everybody's a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day" being the popular saying).  Similarly, Fat Tuesday celebrates the country's French heritage, and Cinco de Mayo the Mexican one.

  3. Yes, we too do it in Ukraine. And our pancakes are thin too 🙂 We serve it with butter, sour cream, jam, honey and so on… )

  4. Yes I've heard of this in America, they do this in my home state of Kansas

  5. The REAL history of Pancake day.

    On the 4th of June 1782, Jesus and his 17 disciples arrived in Arakaweah. The city had been sacked by the Roman's a few day's earlier and the citizens had nothing to eat.
    "What shall we do?" said Peter.
    "Let's take all their fucking money!" said Judas.
    "Let me speak to them, for I am always right."
    Jesus then stood on a wooden box in the middle of the street and began to speak.
    "Good people, hear my voice!"
    And the voice of Jesus was heard by all in the city.
    "My father has given me many powers." Said Jesus. "I have the power of fire."
    With those words, Jesus pointed his finger at a man in the crowd and he burst in to flames.
    "This man burns because he does not love God!" Said Jesus.
    "Cor' blimey! He's doing the old fire game again!" Said Cockney Alan, Jesus' favourite follower.
    When the man in the crowd had burned to a crisp, Jesus spoke again.
    "I also have the power of food!" shouted Jesus.
    The crowd began to move closer as Jesus said this.
    "All those who vow to accept me as their true leader and allow me to take complete charge of this city, step forward and claim your reward."
    As Jesus spoke these words, the crowd moved quickly forward and began to feast on the mountain of magic pancakes that Jesus had created.
    "Cor' blimey! He's only gone and made bloody pancakes!" Said Cockney Alan.
    "And he's taken control of the city!" said Peter.
    "He'll be wanting to sack Rome next." Replied Paul.

  6. Thank you so much for a very informative lesson. My students say hello to you. Keep on doing the videos like that. You should find out about our Polish Fat Thursday which is on the last Thursday before the Ash Wendnesday. We eat lots of delicious doughnuts then.

  7. Hello Gina, thanks a lot for such an interesting video.
    I live in a small village in Alicante, Spain. Some people eat rice with crust (Arroz con costra) the day before Ash Wednesday. We don't celebrate pancake day although we celebrate carnival. It depends on the region in Spain people have also different traditions. Thanks.

  8. Morning sarks… I’m betting by the end of today ya lil fringe is as flat as a pancake, I’ll be thinking of ya later when I’m tossing them & filling up my cheeks 🥞🥞🥞

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