A flipping good time! Revellers across Britain celebrate pancake day with quirky events including ‘medieval’ Shrove Football and novelty races
Thousands across the UK have celebrated Shrove Tuesday with unique events ranging from annual pancake races to medieval-style football games.
Always preceding Ash Wednesday, Pancake Day falls 47 days before Easter and many people celebrate the last day of the Shrovetide season by gorging on food, before starting the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.
The market town of Olney in Buckinghamshire has been holding its annual pancake race since 1445, and claims it is the oldest one in the world.
In their annual tradition, teams of four from Worshipful Company of Livery Poulters competed in the Inter Livery Pancake Race wearing either fancy dress or full regalia.
They raced around Guildhall in London while tossing their pancakes and winners fittingly won a frying pan as well as a trophy.
Pictured: Workers from different City Company professions wear fancy dress as they take part in the Shrove Tuesday Inter-Livery Pancake Race at the Guildhall in the City of London
Pictured: A woman takes part in a pancake race in Leadenhall Market in London. Hosted by the Lamb Tavern, the race is held annually on Shrove Tuesday
Pictured: Winner Eloise Kramer (left) takes part in the traditional Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race in Olney, England
In Kirkgate, Harrogate, clergy members including the dean of Ripon Cathedral raced down the street as part of the town’s annual Pancake Day event.
At Leadenhall Market in London, another pancake race was underway today. Hosted by the Lamb Tavern, an 18th century pub in the centre of the Victorian market, the race is held annually and invites the public to take part.
Also a tradition on Shrove Tuesday is the Royal Shrovetide Football Match – a ‘medieval football’ game played in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
Shrovetide ball games have been played in England since the 12th century from the reign of Henry II (1154–89).
Pictured: Competitors in the Inter Livery Pancake Race ran around Guildhall in London while tossing their pancakes
Pictured: On Shrove Tuesday every year the ladies of Olney, Buckinghamshire compete in the world famous Pancake Race, an Olney tradition which dates back to 1445
Pictured: A man picks up a dropped pancake as he takes part in a pancake race in Leadenhall Market in London
Pictured: Shrovetide turner-up, Paul Cook throws the ball to fans before the start of the Annual Shrovetide Football match in Ashbourne
Pictured: Fans attempt to catch the ball ahead of the two-day contest which involves thousands of rival players competing to move a ball to opposite ends of the Derbyshire town
Over half of Brits will be tucking into some sort of sweet or savoury pancake this evening – with a staggering 229m set to be consumed by the end of the day.
Meanwhile, destination boards in UK stations swapped London St Pancras Station to London St Pancake station to mark the day.
Network Rail tweeted: ‘It’s #PancakeDay yay! Here’s some flippin’ good history about London St ‘Pancake’ International station.’
The day was also marked by an announcement at the station welcoming commuters.
One commuter tweeted: ‘There’s an announcement at St Pancras today that goes ‘Welcome to London St Pancake! Have a flipping great day!’ and it’s unbelievably cringe.’
Destination boards in train stations swapped London St Pancras Station to London St Pancake station to mark the day
Pictured: Julia Bradbury, President of the Camping and Caravanning Club, flips a pancake on Shrove Tuesday at the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC, Birmingham
Pictured: Competitors in their fancy dress costumes take part in the 2023 Windsor & Eton Flippin’ Pancake Race
Pictured: Wells Cathedral Choristers Pancake Racing on Shrove Tuesday in Vicar’s close, Wells, Somerset
Pictured: Competitors in their fancy dress costumes prior to the 2023 Windsor & Eton Flippin’ Pancake Race
Pictured: A competitor in the 2023 Windsor & Eton Flippin’ Pancake Race
Earlier today the Princess of Wales made an attempt at flipping pancakes while joking her children may boycott her attempts.
Kate laughed as she struggled to free the batter mix from a frying pan, but successfully tossed it when she joined residents from Oxford House Nursing Home in Slough to celebrate the annual event.
She said: ‘This is where I go wrong, I obviously try and turn them too quickly.’
Conscious of the large number of residents, staff and press silently watching, the princess quipped: ‘I wish there was, like, music going on.’
Laughing, she added: ‘Maybe the children won’t want to do pancakes… “Mummy we’ve seen you do it – no way”.’
After finally prising the pancake free she held the frying pan with both hands and tossed the batter mix, to applause from the audience, before pointing at her efforts and saying: ‘Definitely don’t eat that one.’
Kate laughed as she struggled to free the batter mix from a frying pan, but successfully tossed it when she joined residents from Oxford House Nursing Home in Slough
The Princess of Wales was left in hysterics today as she attempted to flip a pancake
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