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Pancake Day

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noun

another name for Shrove Tuesday

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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

VOCAB BUILDER

What is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day is an informal name for Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday in some Christian traditions.

It’s called Pancake Day due to the tradition of eating pancakes on that day. Some people call it Pancake Tuesday, but this is less common.

Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Shrovetide, the three-day period before the beginning of Lent, which is the season of fasting and penitence that precedes Easter. Shrovetide also includes Shrove Sunday and Shrove Monday.

The day before Ash Wednesday can also be called Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday).

When is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day—aka Shrove Tuesday—happens 47 days before Easter Sunday. (Lent is often considered a period of 40 days, but it actually consists of 40 weekdays.) Since Easter Sunday moves every year, Pancake Day can fall between February 3 and March 9.

The date for Pancake Day in 2021 is February 16. Pancake Day 2022 falls on March 3.

More information and context on Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday has been called Pancake Day since at least the 1700s. The word shrove in Shrove Tuesday is the past tense of the verb shrive, which means “confess one’s sins, such as to a priest” (it can also mean “to hear confession”).

Shrovetide was once a time that many Christians devoted to confessing their sins before the beginning of Lent. But Lent itself is a time of fasting and abstaining, and Shrovetide and Shrove Tuesday eventually became, for many, a time of indulging before the Lenten fast begins.

Traditionally, fasting for Lent has involved giving up foods like eggs and fats (such as butter). Shrove Tuesday is the last day to use up such foods so they don’t go to waste during Lent, and pancakes are one of the easiest (and most delicious) ways to use these ingredients. That’s why the day is often called Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday and Pancake Day are commonly used as names for the day in the U.K. and some other places, where many people look forward to enjoying pancakes even if they don’t observe Lent.

The name Mardi Gras is more common in France and the U.S.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Pancake Day?

How is Pancake Day discussed in real life?

Pancake Day is a very informal way of referring to Shrove Tuesday. It’s most commonly used in the U.K.

Try using Pancake Day!

True or False?

Pancake Day always falls on the same date.

Example sentences from the Web for Pancake Day

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