The Seasons. 2. February. Shrovetide

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As winter fades the Sun God becomes stronger. Primitive people believed that the seasons were a struggle between light and dark. To help empower the gods of vegetation and springtime, they made pancakes, in the shape of the sun, eating them to increase his influence. Pancakes were also put out on windowsills as offerings to the spirits of the ancestors. Spring celebrations lasted an entire week, at the end of which pancakes were burnt in a bonfire as a further offering to the gods.

Fatty foods are now eaten, before the self-denial of Lent. Mardi Gras can be a flamboyant occasion, with a carnival procession and other colourful events.

Pancake Day The meaning behind Shrove Tuesday and why we eat pancakes to celebrate

The idea is to have a great time before quietening down and doing penance. Many towns hold pancake races on Shrove Tuesday.


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It started with the ringing of church bells at 11 am. The story goes that way back in a housewife in Olney, Buckinghamshire was so busy making pancakes that she completely forgot the time.

When she heard the bells summoning her to worship she dashed out of the house still carrying her frying pan, all the while tossing the pancake to keep it from burning. This is how the tradition of tossing the pancake is said to have begun. Pancake races are still held in Olney.

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The pancake has to be tossed at the start and the finish of the race, and an apron and scarf have to be worn. If men want to take part they must dress as a housewife, also wearing an apron. Similar customs are held in other places in Britain.

There is something very satisfying about taking part in traditions. Linking with the cycle of the seasons is very grounding. It brings reassurance that things stay the same, but also the hope of change for the better. On Shrove Tuesday you can;.

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In this article we have looked at the history and meanings of Shrove Tuesday, some pagan origins and the all-important link with pancakes. Make sure you mark this date in your diary and practice hand-eye coordination for tossing!

The Seasons, Op. 37b: II. February - Shrovetide Festival

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Shrovetide Jam Buns

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Deleted CDs Mystery Boxes. Title, Name or Code. Website Release Date January February March April May June July August September October November December. Composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Composer Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin.