Celebrating Pancake Day

Pancake Day offers us the opportunity to gather around the pan and mix- up buttery creations which can then be garnished with anything from lemon curd to maple syrup. This year, Shrove Tuesday falls on 9th February.

Shrove Tuesday is traditionally recognised as the day of feasting before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Years ago, butter and eggs were classified as ‘luxury’ items and were forbidden during Lent; consequently, they were combined on this day to produce an enticing meal before fasting was undertaken.

There are a multitude of variations on pancakes that can be found around the world. For instance, in France, crepes are the preferred choice whilst in Australia, pikelets are most favoured. Buttermilk pancakes dominate in America and are also highly popular within the UK due to their indulgently soft and fluffy texture.

Here in Derbyshire, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated with whisking up pancakes and attending Ashbourne’s historical Shrovetide football event. The picturesque town of Ashbourne can be at found the edge of the Peak District within the Derbyshire Dales. This two day sporting event has been played for centuries and attracts large crowds from all over the country, as well as celebrities and Royalty who ‘turn up the ball’ in order to open the game.

The game is played by two opposing teams, the ‘Up’ards’ and the ‘Down’ards’ who push the ball around the town and aim to score by hitting the cork ball against two stone plinths. The goals are three miles apart and can be found at Sturston Mill and Clifton Mill. The ball is rarely kicked by the players, it is instead ‘hugged’ by the scrum who work towards reaching their desired goal.

Although the official documentation for the event was destroyed by a fire in Derbyshire in 1890, photographs of the event have continued to tell the story of this traditional event.

Ashbourne Preparing for Shrovetide by @lilycaswell
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