Shrove Tuesday - the traditional day for making pancakes in England - marks the last day before the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday, and dates back before 1000 AD. The term shrove means to 'shrive' or obtain forgiveness of sins by confession and penance. The making of pancakes represents a final meal of diary products and sweet foods, before Lent. Where the eating of such rich foods is restricted during the fasting period associated with Lent itself.

Recipe: A thin batter made from eggs, flour and milk, cooked in hot oil in a frying pan. See our English Pancake Recipe page for full details.

Date: day before Ash Wednesday.

Location: all over Britain.

The traditional Olney Pancake Race, takes place in Olney Market Place, Buckinghamshire.

olney village sign

This famous race is run every Shrove Tuesday. Its participants are the women of Olney who have lived there for 6 months or more. Dating back to 1445, it is said to have began with a local woman who arrived late for the Shriving service at the town parish church.

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