GET your griddle on! A mind-blowing 52 million eggs will be cracked this Pancake Day in the UK and new research shows as a nation we’re becoming more eager to mark Shrove Tuesday each year.

In fact, according to the figures we are now more bothered about Pancake Day than Valentine’s Day.

Apparently 52 per cent of Essex people will celebrate Shrove Tuesday on February 9 compared to just 40 per cent of romantics in the county who will do something special on February 14.

Pancake Day has been celebrated in England for centuries and has its roots in a religious festival.

Its exact date changes every year because it is determined by the start of Easter but it’s always the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), and always falls in February or March.

It is thought the tradition of eating pancakes originated from people wanting to use up their perishable ingredients – and preferably tuck into something tasty and filling - before fasting for Lent.

The word shrove is a form of the word shrive, which means to obtain absolution for one's sins by way of confession and penance.

Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be “shriven” before the start of Lent.



Neil Murray, brand manager at Homepride Flour which commissioned the research into people’s pancake penchants, said: “Pancake Day is a great occasion but we’re “flipping” amazed that it’s more popular than Valentine’s Day.”

Speaking of flipping, the tradition of pancake tossing has historically been a big part of Shrove Tuesday but the research has highlighted that 28 per cent of the UK don’t flip their pancakes at all anymore.

The legend of pancake flipping can be traced back to the 15th century when a woman in Buckinghamshire rushed to church after hearing the bell for Mass midway through making her pancakes.

In France, flipping is still going strong and it’s the tradition to flip a pancake while holding a coin and making a wish.

The team at Homepride Flour, which sells almost 1.7m packs of flour in the run up to Shrove Tuesday, believe people are just too scared of failing to flip their pancakes so they are challenging people across Britain to face their fear and try at least one flip this Pancake Day and #FlipwithFred.

Log onto www.home for more details.

Neil continues: “We’re challenging the nation to get flipping, it’s a great bit of fun, something practically all the family can get involved in and hopefully we might even see a new world record this year.”