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Our Intern Adam is from America and has never heard of Pancake Day so we set him the challenge of learning all about the day and our children at Whale Island Nursery have even created some quick an easy steps on how to make the perfect pancake. Here is Adam’s Journey:

I was raised in a Catholic house and so Ash Wednesday was a common holiday of sorts for me growing up. Coming home from school, all of my classmates and I would have smudges of ash marks on our foreheads that itched and felt uncomfortable. What probably made this worse was the memories of the day before where most of our classes were cancelled and we got to stuff ourselves full of all types of fun food that we would never get in the cafeteria! This was our Mardi Gras but after moving here to the UK I learned it had an alias, Pancake Day. Why we never had pancakes at our Mardi Gras I will never know, but I am sure my younger self would have been just as interested in having an excuse to eat pancakes as I am now! I want to know how it became Pancake day and if you don’t really know yourself, then we are about to learn together.

The first thing I learned is pancake day is also known as Shrove Tuesday. This comes from root word of shrive which basically means to repent ones wrongdoings. The day focused on repenting and seeking forgiveness because it was leading into the Christian period of Lent which begins on what is now Ash Wednesday. This period of time is observed by fasting and giving up certain foods/activities for 40 days. This is why Shrove Tuesday brought upon a feast, to celebrate the foods indulgence that would soon be given up.

This all makes sense so far, but where do pancakes come into the picture?! Well there are a couple of ideas for this. A major reason pancakes were consumed before the Lent fasting was to use all of the ingredients that wouldn’t be used during lent. All of the eggs and milk would go bad during times of fasting so in order to put them to use pancakes were made!

Today, this tradition is carried on and even if many are not preparing for a time of fasting everyone enjoys the festivities of today. Pancake eating and even pancake racing, this was all new to me but it is definitely a tradition I can get behind!

Here are the children at Whale Island Nursery showing me how to make a pancake:

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