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Pancake Day!

“Pancakes” in the UK are more akin to what Americans would refer to as “crêpes”.

The Day before “Ash Wednesday” has long been celebrated as a day of feasting–so much so it has been nicknamed “Fat Tuesday”! Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent which is traditionally observed as a time of fasting for Christians; therefore the day before Lent begins is the last chance for indulgence for the a while (forty days and forty nights to be exact!).

Traditions celebrating Fat Tuesday are called different things around the world. In Brazil “Carnival” is celebrated with music and dancing; in the state of Louisiana, “Mardi Gras” is celebrated with parades. In the United Kingdom Fat Tuesday celebrations revolve around making and consuming (and sometimes racing with) pancakes. Hence, Pancake Day!

In the past these celebrations also doubled as a time to use up rich ingredients such as eggs and sugar, hence the tradition of making pancakes. Eaten hot off the griddle, the pancakes can be filled with savory items such as ham and cheese or with sweet fillings such as chocolate or the traditional combination of lemon and sugar. (Need a recipe? Try this easy one.)

Pancake races are another tradition to add to your Pancake Day!

Though originally a Christian observance, the idea of Fat Tuesday is now celebrated around the world regardless of religious affiliation. Similarly, Pancake Day is a tradition enjoyed by people around the world despite its British origin.

Celebrating Pancake Day would be a lovely way to introduce your International Student to Fat Tuesday traditions. Depending on the customs in your student’s home country, they may have some cultural questions in the run up to Easter. We recommend broaching the topic over a pile of pancakes.

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