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Pancake Fests Mark Shrove Tuesday

By Linda Tancs

The day before Ash Wednesday is popularly known as Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday is a more ancient term, referring to the confession of sins to be shriven, or absolved, from them. In England, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated as Pancake Day–a moniker having its origin in the days when sinfully rich supplies of fat, butter and eggs were used up in preparation for the fast and abstinence of Lent. Over time, this tradition has evolved to the running of pancake races, where women sporting aprons and wielding frying pans make a mad dash for the finish line while flipping those flapjacks in the air. The most popular race takes place in the U.K. in Olney, Buckinghamshire. More than 500 years old, the 400-yard competition takes place at 11:55 a.m. between the market square and the church. Best time? 63 seconds in 1967.

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