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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races – 2013

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races – Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, however in 2013 it fell on Tuesday twelfth February and was celebrated in a number of locations throughout London with Pancake races.

Shrove Tuesday is the ultimate day of the Christian Shrovetide or Carnival, noticed in numerous methods around the globe as Wikipedia relates. It’s the day earlier than Ash Wednesday which marks the start of Lent. We’re maybe slightly short-changed right here within the UK with pancakes, whereas in Venice and Rio Janeiro they’ve actual carnivals to have fun Mardi Gras.

Another nations even have slightly extra fascinating meals than our conventional pancakes. All are methods to eat up richer meals earlier than Lent when Christians ‘fasted’ or slightly ate extra merely for 40 days earlier than Easter. It was additionally a day when individuals went to clergymen for confession to have their sins absolved – shriven – earlier than getting right down to critical service of repentance the next day, Ash Wednesday, and a few church buildings nonetheless ring their bells to name in worshippers.

Individuals within the UK have been consuming pancakes on Shrove Tuesday because the sixteenth century, and even in households which didn’t observe the ecclesiastical calendar nearly everybody ate them on that day in my youth, even when in houses like mine they got here after the usual meat and two veg. I’ve by no means been eager on them, and maybe the most effective you may say about them is that British pancakes are slightly higher than crêpes.

In lots of cities and cities in Britain the day was once a half-holiday and work ended earlier than midday to be adopted by some sort of riotous mob soccer video games with a whole lot participating within the streets. However most of those ended with the passage of the 1835 Highways Act which banned taking part in soccer on public highways, although the custom continues in a barely extra organised kind in just a few cities.

Pancake races are stated to have begun in 1445 in Olney, Buckinghamshir when a girl making pancakes was shocked by the sound of the shriving bells and ran to church scorching pan in hand, tossing the pancake on her solution to cease it sticking. No matter. However they quickly turned a reasonably frequent custom, together with numerous types of begging and trick and treating now extra related to Halloween. However other than just a few explicit situations – similar to at Olney – these races and different practices had kind of died out by the 20th century.

This century has seen a revival in pancake races, typically elevating funds for charities, together with in London the Parliamentary Pancake Race between parliamentarians and press elevating funds for Rehab and the Metropolis of London pancake races begun in 2004 by the Worshipful Firm of Poulters to assist the annual Lord Mayor’s Attraction.

I’ve photographed each these, and in 2013 made one other go to to the Metropolis of London race in Guildhall Yard, then rushed from there to the Nice Spitalfields Pancake Race on the Previous Truman Brewery simply off Brick Lane which was supporting the Air Ambulance and is a elaborate costume crew relay occasion. Races I’ve been to in different years have included these in Leadenhall Market and out of doors Southwark Cathedral in addition to the Parliamentary race.

You may learn extra about each occasions and see many extra photos of them on My London Diary, the place there are additionally photos from the races in different years – put ‘pancake’ within the search field on the prime of the My London Diary web page to seek out extra. Hyperlinks to the 2013 races under:

Nice Spitalfields Pancake Race
Poulters Pancake Race

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London’s Industrial HeritageLondon Pictures

All pictures on this web page are copyright © Peter Marshall.
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