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International Pancake Day (always Mardis Gras)
Check out the weird holiday International Pancake Day on the day before Ash Wednesday. Learn its history and get ideas on how to celebrate.
One weird holiday in the spring is International Pancake Day. Check out the other weird holidays!
International Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is a day that is celebrated around the world on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. It is a day that marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent, which is a time of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection.
Pancakes have become a traditional food to eat on this day, as they were a way for people to use up rich ingredients such as sugar, butter, and eggs before the fasting period of Lent began. In this article, we will explore the history and significance of International Pancake Day, as well as provide some tips and recipes for those who want to celebrate this delicious holiday.
The History of International Pancake Day
The origins of International Pancake Day can be traced back to medieval Europe. During this time, pancakes were a popular food to eat because they were an easy way to use up rich ingredients such as sugar, butter, and eggs before the fasting period of Lent began.
In England, Shrove Tuesday became known as Pancake Day because it was traditional to use up these ingredients by making pancakes. In France, the day is known as Mardi Gras, which means “Fat Tuesday,” and is celebrated with rich foods and revelry before the start of Lent.
The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday continued in England, and in the 15th century, a race was created in the town of Olney. According to legend, a woman was cooking pancakes in her kitchen when she heard the church bells ringing for the start of the Shrove Tuesday service. She ran out of her house with her frying pan and pancake still in hand, and raced to the church without spilling a drop. This tradition has continued in Olney, and today, the Pancake Race is an annual event that is watched by thousands of people.
In the United States, International Pancake Day is celebrated in a different way. In 1950, a tradition was started in Liberal, Kansas, where the town would compete in a pancake race against the town of Olney in England. Today, the race is still held, and the winner is awarded a trophy and bragging rights for the year.
International Pancake Day is celebrated around the world, with different cultures putting their own unique spin on this classic dish. In France, for example, pancakes are known as crepes and are often filled with sweet or savory fillings such as Nutella, cheese, and ham. In Japan, pancakes are known as hotcakes and are often served with fruit and whipped cream.
The Significance of Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday
The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday has a deeper significance than just a tasty way to use up rich ingredients. In the Christian faith, Shrove Tuesday is the last day before the start of Lent, which is a time of fasting, prayer, and self-reflection.
On Shrove Tuesday, people would use up all of the rich and fatty foods in their house, such as butter, sugar, and eggs, before the start of Lent. Pancakes were a popular dish on this day because they were an easy way to use up these ingredients.
During Lent, Christians are called to give up luxuries and focus on their faith. Pancakes became a traditional food to eat on Shrove Tuesday because they allowed people to use up rich ingredients before the start of the fasting period.
Pancakes also have a symbolic meaning in the Christian faith. The round shape of a pancake represents the sun, and the ingredients used to make them symbolize different aspects of the Christian faith. Flour represents the staff of life, eggs represent creation, and milk represents purity.
Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday are also a way to come together as a community and share a meal. In the past, families would gather around the table to enjoy a stack of pancakes together before the start of Lent. Today, pancakes on Shrove Tuesday are still a way to come together and celebrate as a community.
When is National Pancake Day Celebrated?
International Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras, is celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is determined by the date of Easter. Since Easter falls on a different date each year, the date for International Pancake Day also varies.
The tradition of Pancake Day spread to other countries, including Ireland, Scotland, and Canada, where it is still celebrated today. In the United States, Pancake Day is often celebrated as National Pancake Day, which is typically observed on the second Tuesday in February.
Here are the dates for International Pancake Day for the next 10 years:
2024: March 5
2025: February 25
2026: February 17
2027: February 9
2028: February 29
2029: February 13
2030: March 5
2031: February 25
2032: February 10
2033: March 1
Note that these dates are based on the Gregorian calendar and may differ from the dates of the holiday in some cultures or regions. Nonetheless, these dates can give a general idea of when to expect International Pancake Day celebrations in the coming years.
Ideas for International Pancake Day
There are many ways to celebrate International Pancake Day, whether you want to participate in a pancake race, do a fun pancake day activity book, enjoy a stack of pancakes with friends and family, throw a pancake party, or try out new pancake recipes.
Here are a bunch of pancake recipes for you to try!
Cinnamon Swirl Sheet Pan Pancakes: Forget flipping pancakes in a skillet or on a griddle on International Pancake Day! These fluffy sheet pan pancakes with a rich, brown sugar cinnamon swirl, are baked in the oven in just 20 minutes and served with homemade cream cheese icing!
International Pancake Day mornings got a whole lot tastier with these delicious peach pancakes. This classic fluffy American buttermilk pancake recipe is stuffed full of peaches and topped with whipped cream for a tasty breakfast or brunch. Quick and easy to make, peaches and cream pancakes are the perfect way to wake up!
Eggplant pancakes is a delicious easy International Pancake Day breakfast that is healthy too and can be used as a snack as well. Ready in less than 20 minutes, these pancakes are so much fun to make with kids or by yourself. Serve with sour cream, ketchup, mustard or your favorite dipping non sweet sauce.
Is it possible to have a winning healthy pancake recipe? Can pancakes be both healthy and delicious? Pancake aficionados, health conscious moms, and toddlers agree: these whole wheat chia banana pancakes are a win for any International Pancake Day meal!
These Lemon Pancakes are thin and delicate yet bursting with fresh lemon flavor. They’re made with everyday pantry ingredients and can be garnished any way you want! for a delicious International Pancake Day breakfast!
These Lavender Pancakes with Lavender Honey are beautiful, floral, and delicious! Fluffy pancakes with lavender and lemon zest topped with honey infused with more lavender. This recipe will make International Pancake Day breakfast delicious and way more interesting!
These fluffy vegan pumpkin pancakes with toasted pecans are lightly spiced and have the coziest pumpkin flavor. They have a light and airy, fluffy texture that pairs perfectly with crunchy toasted pecans. Perfect for International Pancake Day, these vegan pumpkin pecan pancakes make a warm and cozy brunch or breakfast.
Need to feed a crowd on International Pancake Day and hate standing at the stove? Try these amazing Sheet Pan Pancakes with Maple Pecan Crumble. The recipe also comes with a maple syrup cream cheese glaze that you will love. OMG, it is so good!!
With a wonderfully soft and tender crumb, these sourdough pancakes make a lovely companion to lazy International Pancake Day mornings, especially when you pair them with pats of salted butter, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a mug of strong tea.
Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes are light and fluffy, lightly sweetened with applesauce, with a hint of cinnamon. If you're craving some fall flavor on International Pancake Day, these dairy-free applesauce pancakes fit the bill.
These healthy Spinach Banana Pancakes are made in a blender with no added sugar and no oil. Its nut free, freezer friendly and perfect for toddlers or school kids. These are soft, moist and fluffy that makes a perfect International Pancake Day breakfast option for all ages.
These homemade M&M pancakes are am International Pancake Day breakfast treat! The pancakes are light and fluffy, and filled with melty chocolate candy pieces. This easy pancake recipe is better than store-bought and can be made in no time. Serve them for a special treat, slow weekend mornings, or even dessert topped with whipped cream, maple syrup, and even more M&Ms.
Thick and fluffy Biscoff pancakes topped with fruit, crushed Biscoff biscuits, melted Biscoff spread and smooth vanilla ice cream – This right here is what International Pancake Day dreams are made off.
If you’re searching for the dreamiest pancakes around for International Pancake Day, look no further than this easy Ricotta Pancake recipe. With golden edges and puffy, custardy centers, you’ll love these pancakes with ricotta cheese!
This shortcut King Cake Pancakes recipe starts with pancake mix and bananas and is perfect for International Pancake Day! Drizzle simple icing over a short stack of these light and fluffy pancakes, sprinkle gold, purple and green sanding sugar over the top.
This Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Skillet Pancake is baked in a cast iron skillet and topped with a delicious cream cheese whipped cream. It’s a yummy festive breakfast that’s perfect for International Pancake Day!
Try this Red Velvet Heart Pancake Mix to change up your International Pancake Day brunch! If you’ve ever felt like eating cake for breakfast, these yummy red velvet heart pancakes will do the trick and impress your guests.
These delicious Chickpea Pancakes are fantastic on International Pancake Day for babies, toddlers, and big kids too. They are a healthy and tasty, protein-packed finger food with added vegetable goodness.
The raisins in these Sheet Pan Rum and Raisin Pancakes for International Pancake Day are even better than the raisins you get in Rum & Raisin ice cream because they get all plump and juicy when you bake them into these delicious pancakes.
Moist and fluffy coconut flour paleo carrot cake pancakes made with coconut flour, coconut milk, and pure maple syrup. These flavor-infused carrot cake pancakes are perfect for International Pancake Day, a slow weekend breakfast, or double as a healthy snack.
The perfect International Pancake Day morning starts with these Keto Cinnamon Roll Pancakes. Tender low carb and gluten-free pancakes topped with swirls of cinnamon and sugar and cream cheese glaze, they are the ultimate breakfast treat!
This easy Maple Cinnamon Pancake recipe is lightly spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with natural maple syrup, for a delicious twist on classic breakfast pancakes. This small-batch pancake recipe is perfect on International Pancake Day for a couple or a small family if you don't want to have leftovers.
If you love the crunchy, sweet cinnamon sugar topping on churros, you are going to love these Churro Pancakes: fluffy buttermilk cinnamon pancakes coated in crunchy cinnamon sugar served with chocolate sauce to mimic the churro experience. Such a delicious breakfast or dessert for International Pancake Day!
Need a simple, quick, and easy breakfast for International Pancake Day? If you love pancakes, you’re going to love Fisher Fair Scone Pancakes! Using their amazing scone mix, it’s super easy to make a nutritious, delicious meal for everyone without having to wake up at 5 in the morning!
These orange ricotta pancakes make International Pancake Day feel extra special. The ricotta gives them a delicate, creamy, custard-like texture and incredible richness. There is an extra hint of orange flavor thanks to orange zest and concentrated orange juice.
This brunch treat is a combo of two favorites: fluffy buttermilk pancakes and gooey pineapple upside down cake! Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes are sure to be a hit at your next International Pancake Day brunch. No syrup needed, these cakes are delicious on their own!
Baked Pancake Pizza is delicious and easy to make for International Pancake Day. This vegan, gluten-free sheet pancake is super light and fluffy but it’s also a pancake pizza with yummy fruit toppings. So simple, too! Uses commonly found ingredients.
These chocolate chai spiced pancakes are a delicious and easy-to-make breakfast for International Pancake Day. Made with a combination of cocoa powder, dark chocolate chips and chai spice mix. Then drizzled in a rich chocolate pancake sauce.
Enjoy the health benefits of Korean kimchi with this simple recipe for savory kimchi pancakes. Perfect for a family or anyone looking to add more unique and/or fermented and nutritious dishes to their kitchen repertoire. Try them out on International Pancake Day!
Nutella Pancakes are the perfect treat for International Pancake Day, or any weekend breakfast or brunch. Made with just a handful of ingredients, these homemade pancakes are tender, fluffy, light and taste like everyone’s favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread! Makes 32 pancakes.
These Caribbean pumpkin pancakes – known as Arepa di Pampuna – are a traditional dish of Curaçao. They’re made with pumpkin puree, fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg, flour and eggs and are the perfect, crispy pancake for International Pancake Day.
These easy to make Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are made from scratch on International Pancake Day in one bowl and served with a simple, homemade strawberry syrup! They are moist, fluffy and have a delicious, subtle lemon flavour!
Syrniki are small, thick Ukrainian/Russian sweet cheese pancakes. They might not have a lot of ingredients and look a bit unassuming, but these little bites are soft, fluffy and deliciously good for breakfast on International Pancake Day.
Nothing says a special occasion like an old-fashioned Dutch Baby Pancake made in a cast-iron skillet for International Pancake Day. This popover-style breakfast with homemade apple pie filling is perfect for a holiday, anniversary, or birthday breakfast.
If you need a new way to get your kids out of bed in the morning on International Pancake Day, make a fresh batch of Fruity Pebbles Cereal Pancakes! Soft, fluffy homemade pancakes are speckled with rainbow pieces of Fruity Pebbles, then coated with ooey gooey marshmallow fluff. You’re gonna love flipping these flapjacks!
These 21 Day Fix Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas and Walnuts are a decadent breakfast treat for International Pancake Day – you will have no idea that they are low in sugar and dairy/gluten free! Have these Banana Pancakes for breakfast or dessert – your choice!
These warmly spiced pancakes with their fragrant tang of orange are soon to become a new International Pancake Day tradition. And not to mention the fact that they are delightfully fluffy too! This is THE BEST version of gingerbread and one you will be craving over and over again. Let's make Gingerbread Pancakes!
Xian Bing or Chinese Stuffed Pancake is a dough based popular street food recipe. This vegetarian version of this recipe is made with vegetables and tofu, and it's a great International Pancake Day meal!
Did you know that with a box of cake mix and three other simple ingredients, you can have a batch of deliciously tasty pancakes in no time at all? This easy recipe for Cake Mix Pancakes will make your International Pancake Day breakfasts so fun!
This is the best breakfast to startInternational Pancake Day: enjoying a big stack of perfectly fluffy pumpkin pancakes. They are so quick and easy to make and taste like clouds of pillowy soft pumpkin pie! They have the perfect amount of pumpkin spice and just enough sweetness. You’ll love this recipe!