Tuesday, February 05, 2008

It's Pancake Day...

...and what better way to celebrate than watching a pancake race :-)

It was freezing cold and very windy in London today, so the ladies and gents who bravely put on their T-shirts and tossed pancakes outside Southwark Cathedral deserved all the cheering they got!

video

After the race we queued (and queued and queued) at the pancake stand. These are the pancakes we ended up with half an hour later.


Oh well. At least they tasted OK. Although to be honest we were so cold and tired by the time we reached the counter, anything would have tasted good.

Note to the organisers: Don't bother with the jacket potatoes and salad. It's Shrove Tuesday and anyone who takes the time to go to a pancake race will want to eat pancakes. Duh.

7 comments:

Karen said...

Can we get a little history lesson on the origins of Pancake Day? Is there any reason they couldn't celebrate in, say, May? :-)

Shionge said...

Oh Wow! How interesting :) Thanks for sharing I will definitely have a go at the race too if I happen to be in London ;)

Tinsie said...

@ Karen: Pancake day is Shrove Tuesday, the last day before Lent. The reason for the pancakes is that the 40 days of Lent traditionally formed a period of fasting, during which only plain food was eaten. So, rich ingredients such as eggs, milk, and sugar were used up immediately prior to the commencement of the fast by making pancakes.

The tradition of pancake racing is said to have originated when a housewife in Olney (where the most famous race is held to this date) was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the special confession service before Lent. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake - and since then we hold pancake races on the day :-)

You are actually supposed to toss as you're running, although at the race I went to, people only tossed when they reached the end line. Maybe it was due to health and safety reasons as it was really windy yesterday.

@ Shionge: It's certainly fun to watch! There aren't many pancake races in London, they mostly take place in villages and smaller towns. If you happen to be over here around the start of Lent, check Olney out :-)

Karen said...

So compare that to Mardi Gras, which is a week-long drunkfest leading up to forty long, dry days without booze. Funny, I like the pancake idea better. Truthfully, though, I might have answered differently in my 20s...

Tinsie said...

Well, what can I say - eating cake must have been a sinful pleasure in Protestant tradition ;-)

Lalionne said...

Still seems a bit daft to me!

Tinsie said...

It's daft, but it's fun :-)