Pancake Day used to be one the funnest times during what was usually a dreary time of year in England. Most people did not associate it with the beginning of Lent, but as just an opportunity to have a good feed. The idea of using up a range of foods that would probably not be allowed during the Christian time of penance. So, the focus was on the fat, eggs, flour and milk that made up the ingredients. In England, traditional pancakes were not the flapjacks that Americans eat, but more like French crepes. In most places, they were served with lemon juice and sugar, and you ate as many as your stomach could hold.
I think the feasting idea carries over to the tradition in the United States, though I am not sure if people are some different in terms of cultural heritage that they is a common sense that today will be celebrated with pancakes. In Britain, it was not the time to go dancing in the streets. If the murky weather was not there, it was nearby, and the thought of those pancake-filled bellies wobbling along with regalia is really too much to ponder.
Though I am from the Caribbean, where some countries have a big Carnival (noting that the Latin origin is carnis vale [“Goodbye, meat!”]) to celebrate the day, and we are all aware of the big party in Brazil for Mardi Gras, I have never been to a carnival for this season. I feel it wont change this year, unless someone appears in the next few hours with a plane and itinerary.
So, I will wait with excited anticipation to head off to church this evening to celebrate the last of the fat and supposedly sinful things. I hear there will be pancakes, sausages, fruit, syrup, games, and more.
Once we are filled with that fuel, our bodies will be ready to go into the wilderness. However, our spirits need to have been fed with other nourishment, and without that, the wilderness trail may be long and very difficult. But, let’s stay positive. Looking forward to feed my face.