Growing up Catholic (attending a Catholic elementary school with the plaid skirts and everything – the whole deal), the Lenten season was a reasonably big deal and got a decent amount of attention. So imagine my surprise when I move to the UK and all of a sudden there’s this pre-Ash Wednesday Pancake Day thing that I’d never heard of. My religious education seems to have been woefully incomplete.
To be fair, I thought we had the Lent stuff pretty well-covered with Fat Tuesday, but then, what’s the fun in celebrating by overeating? I can do that any day of the year. A day when it’s acceptable to have pancakes for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner? That’s a little more special.
Naturally, I was delighted to find that a vendor at the weekly farmer’s market on campus was celebrating Pancake Day by offering pancakes with Nutella(!!!!!) for £3. Pancakes here seem more crêpe-y than the typical fluffy stacks you’d find in the US, but all the better to drizzle Nutella inside and fold it up like a sandwich. Which is, as you can see above, exactly what I did for lunch today.
This is too good of a tradition to leave to the Commonwealth states (and, apparently, Episcopalians) who celebrate it. I think it’s safe to say I’ll be having my own little Pancake Day in the states the day before Ash Wednesday from now on.