Pancake day around the world

languages Feb 16, 2021

Who doesn’t love a pancake? Whether you’re a savoury or sweet pancake-lover, ‘Pancake Day’ is celebrated around the world in many iterations. The tradition has roots in Christianity and enjoying a final indulgence before Lent – a time of fasting or giving something up for 40 days.

Here’s a mini-rundown of some of the traditions from around the world:

πŸ‘‰ UK & Ireland – Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day or Máirt Inide (in Irish)
Pancakes are eaten traditionally with lemon & sugar although nowadays anything goes! Also in Olney (England) there are pancake races where participants have to toss pancakes whilst running!

πŸ‘‰ France, Italy, Spain, Brazil & the US – Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday)
Mardi Gras is the last day of 7 days of feasting before Lent and is marked with a carnival – parades, masquerades, feasts. In France you'll find lots of crêpes, waffles and beignets. The most famous carnivals around the world are in Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Venice & Nice.

πŸ‘‰ Lithuania – UΕΎgavΔ—nΔ—s (the time before Lent)
This is a fun festival held over a few days. It’s full of humour, pranks, superstitions, dressing up and plenty of food (12 meals in 1 day!). Those participating are also urged to walk around and beg for pancakes and money – similar to trick or treating at Halloween.

πŸ‘‰ Canada – Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day
Canadians add small (clean) objects to their pancake-mix such as buttons and coins which are said to have special meaning.

πŸ‘‰ Poland - TΕ‚usty Czwartek (Fat Thursday) – formerly known as Fat Week! In the 17th century, the Polish used to celebrate by indulging in lard, bacon & vodka for a whole week, hence ‘Fat Week’. Fat Thursday is a slightly healthier modern-day version. It now consists of feasting on only(!) pancakes (nalesniki), pastries (chrusciki) & jam-filled doughnuts (paczki) on the last Thursday before Lent.

πŸ‘‰ Germany – Fastnachtsdienstag (Lent Tuesday)
Germany celebrates with fancy dress & a partial school holiday.

πŸ‘‰ Iceland – Sprengidagurr (Bursting Day)
In Iceland, the day is marked by eating lentil & vegetable soup accompanied with salted meat, a dish called “saltkjöt og baunir”!

What a variety of traditions! How do you celebrate? Let us know!