Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Pancake Day

I don't know if anyone realises, but today is Pancake Day. Shrove Tuesday.

Why isn't Pancake Day advertised on the telly anymore? For at least a week before the date we used to get adverts saying 'dont forget Jif Lemon Day'. But this year, if I hadn't looked in my diary, I wouldn't have known the great celebration was upon us.

In olden times, as Christians were about to enter into the mad self-denial of Lent they'd enjoy one last feast. Eggs, cream, sugar, butter, all slapped together in a calorie-busting, gluttonous mountain. By the time they'd recovered it was Ash Wednesday; forty days of fasting on dust and gravel until the joy of easter eggs.

Over the years, in the United States Pancake Day has evolved into Fat Tuesday. But in America, Fat Tuesday is followed by Even Fatter Wednesday, Obese Thursday and Lard-Arse Friday.

When I was young, growing up in Merrie England, the BBC's Blue Peter always made a big thing about Shrove Tuesday. I don't know if they still do; I haven't been able to watch it since vandals destroyed the Blue Peter garden and disturbed poor Petra's ashes.

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