When is Pancake Day 2019? Why does the day move? What is the meaning? What is Shrove Tuesday? Is it the same day as Pancake Tuesday? What does Mardi Gras mean?
GET your spatulas at the ready and prepare to flip because Pancake Day is almost upon us.
The day in the British calendar when it is acceptable, even encouraged, to stuff your face with pancakes covered in sugar, chocolate and other delicious treats has almost rolled around.
While Pancake Tuesday took place before Valentine’s Day in 2018, we have had to wait a lot longer for it this year.
So if you are dreaming of pancakes here’s everything you need to know:
When is Pancake Day 2019?
Once again it follows on a Tuesday, as is traditional – Pancake Day will take place on Tuesday, March 5.
Which means that it is just a day away!
Why do we eat pancakes on this day?
While some of us may be planning to give up a treat for Lent – possibly coffee, chocolate or crisps.
Traditionally Lent is a time of fasting and pancakes were a way of using up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar before that.
So that’s why we eat pancakes on Pancake Day, even if most of us will not be giving up rich foods this Lent.
What is Shrove Tuesday? Is it the same as Pancake Day?
Shrove Tuesday is a celebration in the Christian calendar and takes place the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.
It takes place in the seventh week before Easter.
Shrove Tuesday is more commonly called Pancake Tuesday/ Pancake Day in this country – it is also known as Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, and carnival celebrations are held in other parts of the world such as New Orleans.
The name comes from the old English word Shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of Confession and doing penance.
And it was tradition for English Christians to be ‘shriven’ before the start of Lent, with Shrove Tuesday being the last day to do so.
Why does Pancake Day move?
Because Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake Day is associated with Easter, taking place one day before the start of Lent – which takes place during the 40 days leading up to Easter – it does not have a fixed date.
Easter and the days associated with it – such as Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and Easter Monday – move around each year.
According to the Bible, Jesus’s death and resurrection took place around the time of the Jewish Passover, which was celebrated on the first Full Moon following the vernal equinox.
This equinox takes place in March – and falls on March 20 in 2019 – and then Easter takes place on the Sunday around the time of the first full moon following this.
With the full moon taking place on April 19, which means that Easter falls on April 21 this year.