Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday. The name Shrove comes from the old middle English word ‘Shriven’ meaning to go to confession to say sorry for the wrong things you’ve done.

People also used to fast during lent so on the Tuesday before the start of lent they would use up all the fattening ingredients in the house. The fattening ingredients that most people had in their houses in those days were eggs and milk. A very simple recipe to use up these ingredients was to combine them with some flour and make pancakes!

As time has gone on this has become a festival of different events in different countries, in the UK there are pancake races, where people race with a frying pan while tossing a pancake in it. Other countries around the world have Mardi Gras celebrations and festivals.

More recently people have stopped fasting during lent, but have given something else up for the duration, why not let us know what you are giving up for lent in the comments below?


There are a number of events on for Shrove Tuesday in London, and probably around the country too, you can check out the Time Out guide for the events in London.

In Lichfield the pancake races precedes the opening of the Shrovetide Fair, you can find out more from the Lichfield and Birmingham Hive.