Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Pancake Day!!!!

Holy God! There was a Pancake Day, and I missed it! Today, my private student Lili, in the course of reciting the holidays she had to know for an upcoming quiz, listed off “Christmas, New Years, Easter, Pancake Day-” wait, what? She explained it was a British holiday when they make pancakes, eat pancakes, exchange pancakes, and generally revel in the glory of pancakes. The second she left, I looked it up and damn if she wasn’t spot on:

For centuries, the English have celebrated Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent, with merriment and antics and, especially, great quantities of pancakes. In fact, the fried flat cakes became so important to the holiday that is has also been called Pancake Day, or Pancake Tuesday.

Long ago, strict Christian Lenten rules prohibited the eating of all dairy products, so keen housewives made pancakes to use up their supplies of eggs, milk, butter and other fats. They could be easily made and cooked in a skillet or on a griddle. Families ate stacks of them, and pancakes were popular with all classes.

Yum! I love it when serious religious holidays can also be about eating massive amounts of food.

On a related note, I don’t think it’ll be feasible for me to give up alcohol for Lent this year. Stop laughing, I really did it last year: 40 days without a drop (with a foreseen St Patrick’s day exception). As interesting an experience as it was, it just won’t happen this year so it’s pointless to try. In addition to not having a motivating factor as I did last year (that factor being the disgustingly indulgent drinking for Jenny’s birthday in early February), this year the truth of my life is that for better or worse, it revolves around alcohol. Besides, I think I’ve already done my penance for this year by living CWO (cold water only) for two months. And yes, I know that that’s not technically an act of penance because it wasn’t self-imposed, but what do I care? I’m not even Christian.


Timbo said...

You've still got time. Looks like it falls on Feb 28th this year.

BBC Link

Time to get practising.

indiana said...

I appreciate pancakes as much as the next person, but don't discount merriment and antics. We don't really have that kind of thing here.

I haven't had a drink since new years eve, and, by my calculations, it's been forty days. But my life revolves around reading, and envying those of you who fit in the revelry.