Pancake Day 2021: When is Pancake Day this year?

James Martin reveals best method for fluffy American pancakes

Pancake Day – also known as Shrove Tuesday – is an annual feast day which dates back to the 16th century, and a day to indulge before the restrictions of Lent. Pancake ingredients, various toppings and recipes are spotted everywhere as February begins. With lockdown still in place, many are looking forward to an excuse for indulging and celebrating before Easter.

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent.

On Shrove Tuesday, traditionally pancakes were made as a way to use up rich foods like fat, eggs, milk and sugar before the 40 days of Lent.

While this may not be so strictly followed today, many people around the world enjoy pancakes in various forms on Pancake Day.

Whether your favourite topping be Nutella, Biscoff spread, fruit, Greek yoghurt or even bacon on your pancakes – the day is almost here.

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When is Pancake Day this year?

This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday, February 16.

The date of Pancake Day changes each year, as it always falls 47 days before Easter Sunday.

This means Easter Sunday 2021 is on Sunday, April 4.

For those observing Lent, the 40 days of fasting begins on Wednesday, February 17.

Lent marks the 40 days Jesus was said to have spent in the desert, avoiding temptation from the devil.

And so, traditionally those marking the period give up things they usually indulge in or even fast.

Today many give up things like fizzy drinks, chocolate, and even limit screen time.

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Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the word shrive, which means “absolve”.

In Christianity, the day is a time to confess any sins and ask for absolution from God.

Under lockdown rules churches can stay open, but with limits on capacity depending on the size of the building following a risk assessment.

Where possible, when visiting a place of worship you should stay local and avoid travelling outside your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city.

Easy Pancake recipe


  • 100g plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 300ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying
  • lemon wedges to serve (optional)
  • caster sugar to serve (optional)


Put 100g plain flour, two large eggs, 300ml milk, one tablespoon of sunflower or vegetable oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter.

Then set aside for 30 minutes to rest if you have time, or you can start cooking straight away.

Set a medium frying pan or crêpe pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper.

When hot, cook your pancakes for one minute on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.

Serve with lemon wedges and caster sugar, or your favourite filling.

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