Today we had a pancake breakfast at work in our department. I wondered if it had been planned for a specific reason. I decided to do a little bit of googling.
So when is Pancake Day? I did find a few other sources that gave February 28 as National Pancake Day, but not one that was a good reliable source.
Plus, the National Pancake Day at IHOP is definitely on March 3. I don’t think you will get your free short stack of pancakes if you visit IHOP on Saturday.
I will get to the February 17 date, but first how about a look at the pancakes that I had this morning.
I like to slather my pancakes with butter and then drench them with syrup. However, the syrup that I have always liked the best is the syrup that my Mom would make when I was a kid. It is a much lighter syrup than what you typically get off the shelf.
So, now back to the February 17 date for International Pancake Day. You will also notice that it said Shrove Tuesday.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. This is that last day before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent.
Since people typically give up rich foods for Lent, Shrove Tuesday became a day to use up Eggs, Sugar and Milk and what better way than to make pancakes. This led to an interesting tradition in Kansas and England.
Liberal, Kansas is down in the Southwest corner of Kansas, just north of the Oklahoma panhandle. Every year on International Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) they have a Pancake Race. The contestants are all women and they run a course that is just less than a 1/4 mile carrying a pancake in a frying pan. They also have to flip it at both the start and finish line.
The Pancake Race is an annual event that started in 1950 in Liberal.
The tradition in Olney goes back much further. The Pancake Race started sometime in the mid 1400’s. The purported source of the race tradition stemmed from a housewife who was making pancakes when the church bells starting ringing. She was late for services and took off running for the church building with her frying pan full of pancakes.
In both Liberal and Olney the Pancake Race is followed by church services.
Now I am thinking about going to IHOP next Tuesday to get some more free pancakes.