Posted on February 5, 2018, by Gaelle Ledorguet
Pancake Day, crepe


What is Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day?

Shrove Tuesday or also known as Pancake day is the day in February or March immediately preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), which is celebrated in some countries by consuming pancakes.

In others countries, especially those where it is called Mardi Gras this is a carnival day, and also the last day of “fat eating” before the fasting period of Lent.


This moveable feast is determined by Easter. The expression “Shrove Tuesday” comes from the word shrive, meaning “absolve”. Shrove Tuesday is observed by many Christians, including Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists and Roman Catholics who “make a special point of self-examination, of considering what wrongs they need to repent, and what amendments of life or areas of spiritual growth they especially need to ask God’s help in dealing with.”

Being the last day of the liturgical season historically known as Shrovetide, before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent. The term Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

Why Pancakes or crepes?

Pancakes and crepes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: in many cultures, this means no meat, dairy products, or eggs.

It has recently been suggested that, pancakes, in Christianity, symbolize “four pillars of the Christian faith—eggs for creation, flour as the mainstay of the human diet, salt for wholesomeness and milk for purity.” However, this is a false etymology. Christinity does not have “pillars”, and ‘creation … diet … wholesomeness and … puity’ would be an odd selection if it had. Better candidates are found in Acts 2:42. “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer”.
In Newfoundland and Cape Breton Island small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail indicates that they will become or marry a carpenter.


In the UK Pancake Day is a very popular day and people are eating crepes on that day. Crepeaffaire is waiting for you to celebrate Pancake Day this Tuesday the 13th of February!