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Three Things to Know About National Pancake Day

National Pancake Day, Feb. 27, 2018, is a holiday specifically devoted to recognizing and celebrating America’s favorite fluffy breakfast indulgence.

Despite the country’s infatuation with this yummy delicacy, many people are unaware of the culturally rich history that the pancake actually has.

Furthermore, in order to properly appreciate the significance of this celebration, here are three things everyone should know about National Pancake Day:

1. The History of National Pancake Day

The roots of what is now commonly known in the United States as National Pancake Day can only be described as having great depth and scope.

It is widely accepted that this holiday is closely tied to Christian origins, leading back to a tradition called Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is a religious observation that occurs immediately before Ash Wednesday. Essentially, it served as a sacred day for Christians to recognize and indulge in their blessings before subsequently sacrificing them over Lent. Furthermore, this theme of indulgence quickly led to the custom of consuming rich foods, whereby pancakes became a popular choice for doing such.

Currently, different cultural variations of Shrove Tuesday can be seen exemplified throughout the world. In the United States, the customs of this holiday have been split into two individual observation days: Mardi Gras and National Pancake Day. Mardi Gras, which occurs on the traditional date of Shrove Tuesday, became a high-energy, large-scale festival dedicated to gathering and partying. In contrast, National Pancake Day become a much less notable event centered around the sustenance aspect of the original Shrove Tuesday ideals.

Not all countries have modified Shrove Tuesday in the same ways as the United States. For a deeper look into how this day has been amended around the world, continue reading below.

Painting of traditional Shrove Tuesday merriments. 

Courtesy: Addison Independent

2. National Pancake Day Around the World

Pancake Tuesday (Ireland)

Perhaps the closet modification of Shrove Tuesday to the United States’ own is Ireland’s Pancake Tuesday. During this holiday, individuals spend time with their families by preparing their favorite pancake recipes together. In addition, this custom also allows individuals the opportunity to utilize their remaining eggs, sugar and milk before Lent, as these goods have historically been sacrificed for the duration of the ensuing holiday.

Fastnachtsdienstag (Germany)

In slight contrast to the way we Americans celebrate National Pancake Day, many Germans partake in the celebration of Fastnachtsdienstag, also known as Veilchendienstag. This commemoration is honored by participants through the cancelation of school and work coupled with the display of extravagant attire. Of course, pancake-eating is involved too.

Maslenitsa (Russia)

Maslenitsa is an extremely old Eastern Slavic folk-day recognized on the eighth week preceding Easter. This week-long celebration can be traced all the way back to early civilization and is believed to have slightly different origins than the other similar holidays from around the world. Maslenitsa celebrated the pagan sun god from Slavic folklore and typically featured the consumption of crepe-like pancakes. One widespread belief is that the pancake was originally meant to be a symbolic representation of the sun, a central theme for the important day.

Russian Maslenitsa celebration. 

Courtesy: Advantour

3. National Pancake Day Helps Sick Kids

In addition to simply serving as a lighthearted cultural occurrence, National Pancake Day also provides the opportunity to positively impact the community in an enjoyable way.

As most individuals with previous exposure to this celebration know, each year, the breakfast diner IHOP commemorates National Pancake Day by serving customers a free short stack of their original buttermilk pancakes. What people may not know, however, is that every stack of pancakes served helps assist this establishment in raising money for children’s hospitals across the country.

This year, IHOP has set their goal at obtaining $5 million. Furthermore, by participating in IHOP’s annual National Pancake Day celebration, you are helping to make a true difference in children’s lives while also creating sticky-sweet memories.

Courtesy: IHOP

Now it’s time to mark your calendars for Feb. 27, 2018, so that you don’t miss out on any of the National Pancake Day excitement. While enjoying your tasty treat, tweet Her Campus FSU (@HCFloridaState) telling us what country you’d most like to celebrate pancake day in!


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