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February 25, 2009 - Kylie Saari
I was surprised by my research into Shrove Tuesday this week. It turns out there are lots of fun things associated with this day, and this one I couldn't fit into the story. Pancake races. In England, the day is celebrated by modern women donning aprons and competing in races while carrying a pan and flipping the pancakes in it. The trend goes back to the olden days, when legend holds that a woman got so caught up in making pancakes for the feast she lost track of time. Hearing the church bells ring, she ran from her house to the church still carrying her frying pan. Another interesting tidbit is that a derivative of the word shrove is still in popular use -- usually only in the expression "short shrift". Having only experience the day before Ash Wednesday as a TV image of Mardi Gras parties, I was surprised to learn not only that the day has a practical purpose, but also that cultures all over the world have traditional ways to use up what they consider luxuries. Many countries used fat, eggs, and milk, but others tried to use up sugar, meat, and peas. This little feel good story about Pancake Day taught me a lot about people all over the world, and I hope you thoroughly enjoyed it.
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