When is Shrove Tuesday 2012 | 21st February 2012


Shrove Tuesday 2012 (Pancake Day)

Shrove Tuesday - Pancake dayShrove Tuesday
- 21st February 2012 - Pancake Day


Customer:  Waiter, will my pancake be long?

Waiter:  No sir, it will be flat and
round like everyone else's.

Pancake Jokes

An Englishman, Welshman and an American were having a drink.

At first they talked about cars and farms, and true to form, the American had
the swankiest car and the biggest farm.  Then they got to talking about
children's names.

'My son was born on St David's Day', remarked the Welshman, 'So - look you, we obviously Christened him David.'

'That's a real coincidence', observed the Englishman', My son was born on
Michaelmas Day, 29th of September, so we decided to call him Michael.'

'That's remarkable', piped up the American, 'Exactly the same thing
happened with my son Pancake.'

Playing God?

It was Shrove Tuesday and Mrs Thomas was making pancakes for her sons,
Michael 6, and Eddie 8.

As usual, the brothers began to argue over who should get the first
pancake. Their mother saw a wonderful opportunity for a moral lesson.

'If Jesus were sitting at the table, He would say, "Let my brother have
the first pancake".'

Quick as a flash Eddie turned to Michael and said, 'Michael, today you can
be Jesus!'

Reader's Pancake Joke, Complete with Funny Picture

What did the young pancake say to the old burnt pancake?
I don't like your flip side.

Shrove Tuesday? - Give
me Mardi Gras any day!

Pancake jokes

Every dog has his day, but for Patch, Pancake Day was not it.  (Kindly sent
in by Jason E)

Emma Loves Her Pancakes

One February Emma went to her psychiatrist.  She told him, "My
friends said that I had to come see you because they think I have a problem
with pancakes."

The psychiatrist says, "Why do they think that?"

"Well," Emma replies. "Because, I just like pancakes."

"That's not a problem," the psychiatrist responds. "I love griddle cakes

"Really?!" the Emma exclaims. "Then you should come to my house, I have
a whole attic full of pancakes!"

Pancake Joke For April Fool's Day

On April 1st John's mother put a fire cracker under the pancakes.

She blew her stack.

When Is Shrove Tuesday in
2012? - 21st February

Remember that it's Easter that fixes the date for Shrove Tuesday (Pancake
working backwards, we have Lent with its 40 days of fasting before we get to Easter
Day.  Thus Lent starts on Ash Wednesday,
so the day before is when cooks use up all the 'naughty foods'. In the olden days
two 'naughty foods', which are not allowed
in Lent, would be butter
and eggs - ideal for making pancakes.  Hence Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake
Day 2012 is on the 21st of February.

Curiously, when calculating Lent, Sundays don't count, hence Shrove Tuesday
is actually 47 days before Easter Sunday.

Date for Shrove Tuesday 2012

The earliest possible date for Shrove Tuesday is the 3rd of February, while the
latest possible date is the 9th of March.

  • 2011 - 8th March (very late)
  • 2012 - 21st February
  • 2013 - 12th February (early)
  • 2014 -  4th March

A Definition of Shroving

Shroving is a ancient British custom in which children sang or recited
poetry in exchange for food or money.
A popular shroving rhyme went like

Knock, knock, the pan's hot
And we are coming a-shroving
For a
piece of pancake
Or a piece of bacon
Or a piece of truckle* cheese
Of your own making.

*Truckle cheese is barrel shaped and is often mature Cheddar.

Some Tasty International Pancakes Brought to You by Stephanie and WillPancake jokes

America (USA):  We believe that American style
pancakes are particularly thick or fluffy, and best served with Vermont
maple syrup and butter.  Some American cooks add a little vanilla,
while others add blueberries; most also add baking powder to create their

Canada:  Canadian pancakes are moister than American ones
but still served with maple syrup.

China:  Chinese pancakes are fried in sesame oil
and are apparently superb with duck.

Finland:  Finnish pancakes are ideal for people
with a sweet tooth, these should be served with jam, whipped cream, berries,
cinnamon and sugar, honey or maple syrup.

France:  Will can support the fact that the French
excel at crepes [sweet] and galettes [savoury] and often served with a
bowl of local cider.

Germany:  The Germans tend to make apple pancakes
which are baked in the oven.  They also have 'Puff' pancakes, which
look like English 'Yorkshire Puddings'.

India:  Indian pancakes sound scrummy; savoury pancakes
are prepared with ginger, garlic and cayenne. Mung beans may also be part of
the recipe.

Italy:  Calzonia are common in Italy, they are more like
an enclosed pizza than an English pancake.

Mexico:  The renowned Mexican pancake equivalent is the
wheat tortilla; Will has also eaten them made from maize [cornmeal].

Netherlands:  'Flensjes' are crepe cakes, usually made
with apples and occasionally rhubarb.

Nigeria: Nigerian pancakes are often served with beans,
tomatoes and shrimp, making a complete meal.

Norway:  'Krumkakes' are thin, crisp, cone-shaped
cookie-like crepes, often served at Christmas. They are sometimes made with
a special flat iron which leaves a decorative pattern.

Poland: Will and Guy's friend, Kinga Sadkowska, tells
them that Polish pancakes, 'Nalesniki', are thin crepes which are usually
served with a special cottage cheese filling. Lovely.

Russia: The regular Russian the pancake of choice is the
'blini': which is small and thick, ideal with sour cream or caviar.

Perhaps you are able to add to this list?  We would like to get to
20 types of pancakes.?  If so, please let us know.  We
particularly prize funny pancakes.

Sweden:  The Swedish Raggmunk is made from riced

Welsh: The Welsh make their pancakes with buttermilk or
sour cream.

Perhaps you are able to add to this list?  We would like to get to
20 types of pancakes?  If so, please let us know.  We
particularly prize funny pancakes.

Why Pancake Day is Celebrated Less in the USA

Much of America celebrates Mardi Gras on the day before Lent.  That's
the same day as Shrove Tuesday, and as there is no contest between pancakes
and a parade followed by a party, Shrove Tuesday gets overlooked anywhere
where they celebrate Mardi Gras.  Incidentally 'Mardi' is the French
for Tuesday and Gras means fat, hence 'Fat Tuesday'.

Etymology of the Word Shrove

In modern English, the word 'Shrove' has no meaning outside of pancake or
Shrove Tuesday.  Academics can trace shrove to the past tense of the verb
shrive, which itself means absolution.  This derivation helps to cement the
meaning of eating up luxury food before the penance of fasting during Lent.

If you bring to mind other old words such as Yuletide (Christmas) and
Eastertide, then it will be no surprise that there are lesser known '-tides',
Allhallowtide (Halloween), Whitsuntide (Whitson) and Shrovetide.  My point
is that Shrove Tuesday is the last day of Shrovetide.

Shrove Tuesday Traditions

In the 21st century, Shrove Tuesday is most strongly associated with
pancake activities.

  • The world record for cooking the biggest pancake was set in Rochdale,
    Yorkshire, England in 1994. The super-pancake measured 15 metres in diameter and
    weighed 3 tons.
  • Ralf Laue from Leipzig, Saxony, Germany broke the world record in 1997 by tossing a
    pancake 416 times in two minutes.
  • Pancake races in various towns, most famously, in Olney, Buckinghamshire,


Shrovetide football in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England is something different,
a unique game.  On Shrove Tuesday, and also on Ash Wednesday, the Up'ards play the Down'ards,
its a no hold's barred game of football with the goals three miles apart.

Instead of a kick-off, Shrovetide has a 'turning up' where a dignitary throws
the special ornate ball into the crowd and the game starts.  The event
first came to the wider public's notice when in 1928 the then Prince of Wales
(Later abdicating King Edward VIII) got caught up in the mêlée.  Without
modern-day protection officers he got sucked into the scrum and came out with
his nose bleeding.

Shrovetide 2009

The only rules are:
You must not intentionally cause harm to others
No motorised
No hiding the ball in bags or rucksacks
No trespassing, especially in churchyards.

Result for 2011
Tuesday's game was a draw with Adrian Webb for the Down'ards scoring a
goal at 4:50 and then Richard Goodall scoring a goal for the Up'ards at

Wednesday's game was also draw with Simon Betteridge scoring for the
Down'ards about 3:30 and then Simon Fisher scoring a goal for the Up'ards at

The first time in 75 years there have been four goals say Will and Guy.

The 2010 game
This was of the most controversial
renewals for some years.  Eventually
the committee decided that at the end of day one Dave Spencer's goal be
disallowed because it was "goalled" AFTER the 22.00 deadline.  The amended
result was a 1:1 draw.

The 2008 Sensation
In 2008 there was a sensation when the Up'ards were accused of cheating by
having a counterfeit decoy ball.  Each year a new ball is crafted with most
ornate design.  The Down'ards claim that a crucial time they were
distracted by this fake impostor of a ball.  To get any progress along the
3 mile pitch you need brains and subterfuge, as well as brawn and speed; selling
the proverbial dummy is OK, but introducing another ball threatens the integrity
of the game.  The stewards' enquiry is likely to rumble on.

Shrovetide Scores

2011 Up'ards 2 : 2 Down'ards
2010 Up'ards 1 : 1 Down'ards 
2009 Up'ards 1 : 1 Down'ards
2008 Up'ards 2 : 0 Down'ards
2007 Up'ards 1 : 0 Down'ards

Ripon Pancake Day Race ScrappedRipon Pancake Race banned

The Ripon traditional pancake race has been scrapped because of fears over health and

The event was revived 13 years ago and since then crowds have gathered in the
centre of Ripon, North Yorkshire, UK, on Shrove Tuesday.
Schoolchildren run down a cobbled street flipping pancakes after the start is
signalled by the ringing of the cathedral's ancient 'pancake bell' at 11 am. 

Organisers reluctantly scrapped the popular event this year because of mounting
costs and bureaucracy linked to health and safety rules.  The police wanted
more than £1,000, to control the event.  In the past, local schools and
businesses have entered teams to race while tossing pancakes.

Organiser Bernard Bateman added, 'Health and safety has just gone
too far. It makes you think twice about even trying to hold events like this,
even though they are extremely popular, especially amongst children. The main
issue with health and safety is the cobbled street people could slip on, but it
causes us so much trouble just for a little issue. This stupidity never happened
previously. It's a shame that these issues stop the children enjoying such a
traditional event.'

Will and Guy can't help but agree with Mr Bateman.  We also wonder if
this is just a UK problem, please let us know the Health and Safety
situation is in other countries.

Guy's Special Pancake Recipe

150g / 6oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
3 eggs
300ml / 12 fl oz milk mixed with 100ml / 4fl oz water
75g / 3oz butter

Special Shrove Tuesday ingredient - Sultanas.  Add about 20 currants,
raisins or sultanas (best) to the mixture when it's in
the frying pan.

MethodShrove Tuesday
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Top tip: Hold the sieve
high above the bowl so the flour gets an airing.  Break the eggs into
the flour (naturally no shells). Then whisk the eggs, a fork is fine, but lovers
of gismos
may prefer to use an electric whisk.  Another tip: leave the mixture for 30
minutes so that any difficult lumps will dissolve naturally.

Now you are ready to add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, keep whisking
until you get the consistency of thin cream.  You always get lumps, but
faith, eventually they will dissolve into the mixture.  Next melt the butter in a pan.
Spoon the butter into the batter and whisk it in.  Tip: use kitchen paper
to smear the pan with butter before you make each pancake.

Cooking the Pancakes:
Get the pan smoking hot, then turn the heat down to medium.  By all means experiment with various thicknesses, but my opinion is that thinner
is better, aim more for crpes rather than
crumpets.  Here is where you add those sultanas, I think about 20 is right,
but be flexible.

Trick: As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip the mixture around from
side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter.  It should take
only half a minute to cook the first side. The first pancake is often a bit
leathery - no worries, the rest will be fine.Pancake Day Tuesday

Here is a high risk, high reward strategy - toss your pancake.  Remember that 'leathery'
first pancake?  Use it to practice your tossing.  The secret is to flick
the wrist so that you give the pancake a slow spin, then bring the pan down in sympathy with the
flipping pancake.

To serve:
Squeeze fresh lemon juice (else use one of those plastic lemon juice bottles)
Some like sugar sprinkled on their pancakes (not me)
Option 1:
Spread maple syrup.
Option 2: Crpes Suzette variation:
Add one finger of warm brandy to the cooked pancake then set fire with a match.
(If you are not a poser, you are better off drinking the brandy as a chaser.)
Roll-up your pancake with a fork then cut pieces of your 'tube'.

Secret - Eat your pancakes fresh; re-heated pancakes lose their texture
compared with those straight out of the pan.

Please send us your funny Shrove Tuesday 2012 stories and pancake jokes.

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