When is Pancake Day and why do we celebrate it in Malta?

It’s nearly time to get out your frying pans and test your pancake-flipping skills as Pancake Day is almost here.

Many of us remember trying to flip a batch of cooked batter in our mum’s frying pan, only for it to go horribly wrong.

But no matter what they turn out like, pancakes are all about what you top them with.

Some people in Malta like to go fancy with strawberries and cream or keep it simple with lemon and sugar.

Whatever your pancake preference, what could be better than an entire day dedicated to them?

But why do we celebrate Pancake Day in Malta and what is the history behind the event?

Here’s everything you need to know about Pancake Day 2019.

When is Pancake Day?

Pancake Day, which is otherwise known as Shrove Tuesday, falls between February 2 and March 9, depending on the date for Easter.

It is always the day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the 40 days leading up to Easter.

This year it falls on Tuesday 5th March.

Why does Pancake Day change each year?

Pancake Day is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday.

Lent – the 40 days leading up to Easter – is traditionally a time of fasting but the date changes because Easter changes every year.

What is the history of Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday dates back hundreds of years when Christians would go to confession and were ‘shriven’ or ‘freed’ from their sins.

A bell would be rung to call people to confession and this came to be known as the Pancake Bell.

Why do we celebrate Pancake Day in Malta?

Pancake Day is the day before Lent, the period of fasting and prayer that precedes Easter. The tradition of eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday began in Britain and was adopted in Malta from Victorian times.

It’s a delicious way to use up ingredients including butter, milk and eggs that were not supposed to be eaten and would go bad during the period of Lent.

89.7 Bay morning show presenter Simon Lumsden shares his favourite pancake recipe:

The 3-2-1 Batter Recipe – Ingredients for roughly 8 pancakes

  • 300ml of Milk
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 100g of plain flour

Making the pancakes

  • Whisk or blend the ingredients together to form a smooth batter
  • Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat
  • Poor a thin layer of batter into the pan and cook for approx 30 seconds until golden brown
  • Flip the pancake using a spatula or the pan itself
  • Cook the other side until nicely golden brown

Serve immediately – my favourite toppings are lemon and sugar!

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