Pancake Day – traditions from around the world


This Tuesday marked Pancake Day, a very happy day celebrated by the majority of English speaking countries. Pancake Day originated many centuries ago, when people would give up luxurious items for Lent: not iPads, smart phones and 3D TVs, but flour, eggs and sugar – how times have changed! They put these left over ingredients into one pan on the last day before Lent to remove the temptation; they created a pretty good recipe at the same time!

Pancake Day has become associated with some rather peculiar traditions these days. There’s the obligatory pancake race, much like an egg and spoon race but the participants must flip their pancakes while they run the race! In Scarborough, a small town on the seaside where I was born and raised, the council closes the sea-front roads to all traffic, school is suspended and everyone goes down to the beach to swim in the sea! I have never done this, because swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in the middle of February is not my cup of tea, but each to their own…

To incorporate Pancake Day into your classes, you can use this lesson plan from onestopenglish, which asks your students to put the recipe steps for pancakes into the correct order. Alternatively, find out if your students celebrate Pancake Day or a variation on it. Are they giving up anything for Lent?

If you’ve got any great lesson ideas based around Pancake Day or Lent, tell us about them in the comments section below!


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