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Every year at GNP Idiomas we look forward to Easter, as it’s one of our biggest events! But how much do you really know about Easter and its traditions?

A favourite tradition of ours is “Shrove Tuesday” also known as “Pancake Day”, and it takes place the day before Lent begins.

Pancake day

Many years ago, Shrove Tuesday was a day for having a big feast and a good time, an opportunity for people to be forgiven for any bad things they had done, before the start of Lent. Rich foods like eggs were forbidden during Lent, so one way of using them was to make pancakes! And this is how the tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday began, which dates back as far as 1445. In some parts of the UK people even run in pancake races! In France and the United States Pancake day is called “Mardi Gras” which means ‘Fat’ or ‘Grease Tuesday’. This year it’s tomorrow, Tuesday 17th February, so get your frying pan ready!

Lent is a period that lasts for 40 days (excluding Sundays), when Christians prepare for Easter by thinking about all of the things they have done wrong. The 40 days of Lent represent the 40 days Jesus spent alone in the desert without food. Lent used to be a time to fast or go without food, the way Jesus did, but nowadays many people give up a favourite thing they enjoy, such as sweets or chocolate, and often give the money they save to charity.

The first day of Lent is called “Ash Wednesday”. Ashes are used as a symbol of being sorry for things people have done wrong, and a way to clear away sins. In many Christian churches there are special services where ash is used to make the shape of a cross on the forehead of each person. This year, Ash Wednesday falls on 18th February.

There are so many ways to make pancakes, and the BBC has put together a page with lots of different ideas for pancake day! And if you have kids, why not have some fun with it and make some pancake art?

How do you like your pancakes? Do you prefer them thin and crepe-like, or thick and fluffy? Sweet or savoury? Let us know in the comments below!

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