There was much excitement on the streets of Macclesfield this morning as hoards of competitors gathered to race down past the Town Hall while tossing a pancake. The race was organised to raise money for Macclesfield District General hospital’s healthcare charity ECHO.
Watching the race from Skout PR’s HQ this morning discussions centred around the office as to the origins of Shrove Tuesday (or pancake day as if is more commonly now known) and why the annual race with a pancake?
Just in case you were wondering the same, here’s the lowdown:
Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before Lent, traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with clearing your cupboards of goods such as sugar, fats and eggs. It’s commonly known as Pancake Day because it represents a good opportunity to use such ingredients ahead of the fasting period.
Pancake races are thought to have begun in 1445. A woman had lost track of the time on Shrove Tuesday, and was busy cooking pancakes in her kitchen. Suddenly she heard the church bell ringing to call the faithful to church for confession. The woman raced out of her house and ran all the way to church; still holding her frying pan and wearing her apron.
So as you head home deciding whether it’ll be a good old sprinkling of lemon and sugar or a thick layer of chocolate spread, at least you’ll know now why you’re indulging in this annual treat.