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Why Enjoy Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday????
Shrove Tuesdayis the last day before Ash Wednesday. It begins the period Christians call Lent — a 40 day period of abstinence, repentance and prayer that ends on Easter.
The name Shrove is the past use of the ME word "shrive" which means "to confess" On Shrove Tuesday, in the Middle Ages, people confessed their sins on this day so that they were properly prepared for the season of Lent.
Shrove Tuesday is also call Pancake Day,or Mardi Gras in France —which means Grease or (Fat) Tuesday. Pancakes are eaten on this day because this feast enabled the household to use up the fat, butter and eggs they had on hand, foods that were forbidden foods during Lent.
In England and other European countries pancakes are eaten and pancake races were held in villages and towns. The object of these races was to get to the finishing line first, carrying a frying pan with a cooked pancake in it while flipping the pancake a pre-decided number of times. The skill lies not so much in the running of the race but in flipping and catching the pancake, which must be in tact when the finishing line is reached.
One of the most famous pancake races take place at Olney, England. According to tradition, in 1445 a woman of Olney heard the shriving bell toll for confession while she was making pancakes, and she ran to the church in her apron, still clutching her frying pan (with the pancake inside?)
(FROM VARIOUS SOURCES)