Tuesday, February 28, 2006

SHROVE TUESDAY....

Is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. It is a day of penitence to clean the soul and yet, its also a day of celebration, being the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

Shrove Tuesday is often referred to as Pancake Day and in Olney in Buckinghamshire this day is celebrated by the famous Pancake Race. Apparently, this came about way back in the year of 1445, when a woman, who was cooking pancakes, heard the shriving bell summoning her to confession. She quickly ran to church wearing her apron and still holding her frying pan and, thus without knowing it, she started a tradition that has lasted for over five hundred years.

According to the rules, only women wearing a dress (no trousers or jeans), plus an apron and a hat or scarf on her head may take part. The race is run over a distance of 415 yards and takes place in the market square of Olney. The runners have to toss their pancake twice, once at the start of the race and again at the end. The winner receives a kiss of peace from the Verger and the Vicar follows that by saying - The Peace of the Lord be always with you. All who finish the race are expected to attend the Shriving Service. Competitors place their frying pans around the font before taking up their seats.

The town of Olney competes with a similar race run in the town of Liberal in Kansas to see who can run the fastest race. I think Liberal has been the winner for a few years now.

I’m pleased to add that my dear friend Cicely Cooper who lives in Olney, won the Pancake Race in 1954.

Shrove Tuesday is extra special for me this year, falling as it does on 28th February, it is my birthday.

13 comments:

Terri said...

Happy Birthday, Marion! May God bless this day for you and bless you with many more birthdays!

Carol said...

*sings*

"Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Marion, Happy Birtday to you!"

Have a wonderful day!

Hugs xox

homemakersheart said...

Well a song us a must - (good thing you can't hear me sing!), Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to you...Happy Birthday to Marion...Happy Birthday to you! And a hug and a wish for God's peace fill you this upcoming year.

I just read about this tradition this morning in one of my books. It sounds so much fun I wish we could do it here! I am changing my menu tonight to pancakes since we are unable to go to the Shrove Tuesday supper at church. Thank you for the post. I always love learning.

MariaJ said...

HYVÄÄ SYNTYMÄPÄIVÄÄ= finnish and means HAPPY BIRTHDAY !

Mindy said...

Happy Happy Birthday dear Marion!!! May your day be filled with your hearts desire!!! Blessings and hugs to you this day!
xo

abe/happy said...

Happy Birthday Marion.xx

Peggy said...

Happy Happy Birthday!!!

Garden girl said...

Happy birthday Marion....many happy returns......dont forget to make a wish!

I read about olney once in a country living mag, I come from buckinghamshire/berkshire but have never been to olney!

Carol said...

Marion can "Anonymous", I mean people who don't own a blog also post here? Well a friend of mine from a german garden forum where I have another blog, her name is Sigrun, wanted to post here, she likes your blog very much and she admires Wales and all country parts of GB I think, but she told me she can't post here, because she is anonymous. Anyway I tell you what she wanted to tell you in her first post:

Marion, Carol has shown me the way to your blog. I like Wales in each parts and your new wellis too!
Sigrun from Germany

Alice said...

Sorry I missed your birthday, Marion. I hope you had a lovely day.

Sharon K said...

A happy belated birthday to you Marion and many more.

Maggie Ann said...

Belated Happy Birthday wishs to you Marion! Birthdays are such special occasions and should be celebrated with abandon I think...smile. The pancake race was interesting to read about though for the life of me I can't imagine myself running a race while flipping pancakes. Blessings to you!

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Dear Friends....
I want to express a personal thank you to each and everyone of you. I felt well blessed in receiving so many birthday greetings from the many new friends I've recently made in different parts of the world.
Thank you. Big hugs and fondest love to you all. Marion