While Shrove Tuesday is the first day of Lent and originated to prepare for the days of fasting prior to Easter, it has taken on a whole set of traditions that are quite fun. In order to get rid of rich foods prior to fasting such as eggs, milk and sugar, people started to make pastries such as pancakes which gave the day a whole slew of nicknames internationally such as Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday, Bursting Day, Carnival and more. The UK has a number of Pancake Day traditions giving expats a great opportunity to get involved regardless of whether you plan to celebrate Easter or not!
- Football: Several towns/areas hold pick up football matches on an annual basis for Shrove Tuesday, join one or start you own!
- Pancake races: This is a tradition where women dressed in scarves and aprons, and men dressed as housewives, race with a frying pan and pancake in hand. Participants must flip the pancake at the start and end of the race. The oldest pancake race is in Olney and has been held annually since 1445. In London some notable pancake races which are free to attend include The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race, Inter-Livery Pancake Race, Parliamentary Pancake Race and Better Bankside Pancake Day Race
- Pancake Day Mardi Gras: Join Shutterbug as the Shoreditch venue combines Pancake Day and Mardi Gras traditions to throw a party full of crepes and rum. They’ll be serving crepes all day from 9 AM and the party officially starts at 18:30
- Eat a pancake!: If you’re feeling hungry you can try the Breakfast Club’s Pancake Day Challenge (if you eat all 12 pancakes in fifteen minutes the meal is free), hit a pop-up restaurant or check out these recommendations for the best pancakes in London
- Phipp Street Pancake Festival: Eat yummy pancakes and get tips from pancake pros!
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