Why is Shrove Tuesday also called 'Pancake Day'?


In this blog, we are going to look at an annual festival that takes place in the UK, its origins and how the meaning has changed over time.

Shrove Tuesday usually happens in February or March and is always 40 days before Easter. It is also called Pancake Day.



In the past, Shrove Tuesday was the ‘last chance’ for people to cook something delicious and sweet before Lent, which is a Roman Catholic tradition. Many people give up something they enjoy, like chocolate, for the 40 days of Lent, then start eating it again at Easter.


Five Facts about Shrove Tuesday!


1. The word 'shrove' is the past tense of the verb 'shrive' which means to hear confession (also a Catholic ritual) and receive forgiveness. In the past, people went to church on Shrove Tuesday to ask for forgiveness before the start of Lent, on Ash Wednesday.


2. Pancake Day is also celebrated in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.


3. The modern focus of this celebration is to cook pancakes with lemon juice and sugar (or any other topping like chocolate spread or fruit).


4.This sounds like an easy-going celebration, right? Wrong. People get very competitive about how many pancakes they can 'flip' on Pancake Day! Check out these world records: Celebrate Shrove Tuesday with our top ten Pancake Day records | Guinness World Records.


5. Pancakes are a common food in many countries of the world. For example, they are called crepes in France, blinis in Russia, and crepselle in Italy.


What ingredients make a pancake?

The ingredients for crepes and English pancakes are the same: a mixture of milk, eggs and flour and this mix is called ‘batter’.

But pancakes from other countries like America and Scotland, are a little different. English pancakes are large and thin, but Scotch Pancakes are smaller and fluffier. This is because of a few extra ingredients!

The good news is that you don’t have to wait for any special day to enjoy Scotch pancakes, they are a popular breakfast food in Scotland! And even better, our helpful team has put together this easy Scotch Pancake recipe to make at home.


How to Make the Perfect Scotch Pancake in 4 Steps


You will need:

300 Mg Milk

1 large egg

200g of plain flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 tablespoon of caster sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon



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Step 1.

Place the flour, baking powder, caster sugar into a bowl and mix with a spoon. Cinnamon is optional for a little spice!


Step 2.

Add the milk and egg and whisk all of the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.



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Step 3.

Add a little vegetable oil to a frying pan and warm on a medium heat. Using a ladle, spoon a small amount of batter into the pan. Cook for approximately 45 seconds then 'flip' the pancake and cook for another 30 seconds.



Step 4.

When your pancake becomes fluffy and golden, it’s ready. Serve with your favourite fruit, honey, or chocolate spread. Yummy!



Now that you’ve learned all about Shrove Tuesday, why not discover more festivals and celebrations in the UK?

IQ Global’s free webinar on the topic 'The British Food Calendar' is in two parts, the first covering January – June. You’ll discover the food Brits have on special days like Shrove Tuesday and best of all, you’ll be able to compare with celebrations in your home country. You may also find that some traditions are similar to your own.


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Learning about British culture is not only great for practising your English, but you'll impress friends with your knowledge of all things British! IQ Global webinars have been designed to give you plenty of things to use in conversations. As always, we have also created an inspiring quiz on this webinar topic, which you can use to help you understand the webinar, or as a refresher!



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We hope you have enjoyed this blog. As always, you will progress more by reading, listening and practising your English so make sure you check out IQ Global for free resources and our YouTube channel. See you next time!


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