Get your eggs, flour, milk and butter ready: Pancake Day is just a few weeks away. But why do we apparently need to use up our basic foodstuffs every year?
From the best and quickest pancake recipes, to the tradition of pancake tossing and where the day originated, here is everything you need to know about Pancake Day.
Why is pancake day on a different date each year?
Pancake Day has been celebrated by Britons for centuries. Known also as Shrove Tuesday, its exact date – rather confusingly – changes every year, as it is determined by when Easter falls.
But it is always the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), and always falls in February or March. This year, you’ll need to get your pans ready for Tuesday, March 5th.
The date of Shrove Tuesday is intrinsically linked to Easter, a moveable feast which falls between March 22 and April 25. This year Easter Sunday falls on April 21.
The period in between Shrove Tuesday and Easter Sunday is known as Lent and officially begins on Ash Wednesday, ending on Holy Saturday.
While it is commonly said that Lent lasts 40 days, there are actually 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday. However traditionally Lent was not followed on Sundays, giving followers a day of rest a week; if you exclude all of the Sundays in the period, then Lent lasts 40 days.