Flipping fun: What to do for Pancake Day

Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday, or more commonly known as Fat Tuesday, is the feast day before Ash Wednesday. This year, Fat Tuesday will fall on Tuesday, 17 February, and is the perfect excuse to eat some pancakes!

Shrove Tuesday is the last day before Lent, and was originally viewed as a day of repentance before people gave up ‘luxury’ food items such as milk, butter and eggs. Hence, the tradition was born to eat pancakes and other rich dishes before Lent and the period of fasting.

Today, Shrove Tuesday is celebrated around the world, and particularly in Europe, in countries such as France, the UK, Italy and Sweden. Every culture has slightly different festivities, but all enjoy eating delicious food and partying. Here’s how the world will be celebrating this Tuesday, 17 February.


The French call Shrove Tuesday ‘Mardi Gras’, which translates in English to the aptly-named ‘Fat Tuesday’, a day when people can indulge in fatty foods and meats. Food aside, the French also celebrate with big carnivals, in particular the 10-day Carnaval de Nice, one of the largest in the world. During these street parties, people will dress up in colourful costumes and eat ‘beignets du carnaval’, a sugary soft donut over their usual crepes.


If you ever needed an excuse to eat pancakes, then the 17 February is the perfect day for you. On Shrove Tuesday, you’ll find Brits indulging in warm, buttery pancakes with all the ‘naughty’ toppings – chocolate, honey, maple syrup and more. It’s the one day of the year when it’s perfectly acceptable to eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Mardi GrasItaly

The Italians Mardi Gras celebrations focus more on parties than food. Martedí Grasso (Fat Tuesday) and the Thursday before (Giovedí Grasso) are the two main days of the Italian Carnevale. Cities such as Venice have become world-famous for their extravagant outfits, traditional masks and huge parties and parades.


In Sweden, Shrove Tuesday is when people are supposed to eat ‘semla’, a special type of sweet cream bun. Originally these semla were a simple bread bun eaten in a bowl of warm milk, however over time, the semla have become more upmarket – today, you’ll likely find small wheat flour buns, flavoured with cardamom and filled with almond paste and topped with whipped cream. These treats start to appear in bakery windows anytime after Christmas and the Swedes even have semla experts who will perform taste tests to determine the year’s best semla.

Now, if you’re popping into Tesco to pick up the goodies for Pancake Day, you may not be aware that you can exchange Clubcard Vouchers for Avios and use towards a number of travel rewards. If you’ve ever fancied experiencing something you know & love, like Pancake day overseas – check out all the travel rewards Avios offer.

Whatever custom you decide to take on 17 February, it’s sure to be filled with delicious sweet treats and frivolous fun!


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