Its Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day) for much of North America. Traditionally, pancake day is the day before Ash Wednesday and is the last day before the beginning of 40 days of Lent. During Lent, its customary to give up little pleasures. Years ago, it was customary to give up eating meat for Lent, and to use up things like meat, butter, flour, the tradition of Pancake Day began. Pancake Day, is the last day to use up these ingredients before the Lent season begins. In today's society, some people will give up using credit cards for Lent, or drinking pop, or eating chocolate, maybe even give up coffee or swearing (gulp, good luck to you).
Back home, we got our own traditions on Pancake Day, with church breakfasts and the such. And just about everyone I know participates in making and eating pancakes for the supper.
Now here's the twist! In Newfoundland, you are supposed to put trinkets into your pancake batter. Each trinket was symbolic of the future and it was so much fun as a child to try to find the trinket that you wanted. The trinkets traditionally used were the following:
-- a penny, to symbolize poverty
-- a nickel, to symbolize wealth
-- a string, to symbolize a fisherman (if a boy got the string, he would be a fisherman, if a girl did, she would marry one)
-- a wedding ring, to symbolize that you would marry soon
-- a button, to symbolize that you would never marry
-- a nail, to symbolize that you would soon pass away
-- a thimble, to symbolize that you would be a seamstress (a girl) or a tailor (a boy)
As kids my sisters and I would to consume far too many pancakes in search of money (because the rule in our house was that if you didn't eat the pancake you couldn't keep the money). The only thing that went into our pancakes was money!
Kiddo woke up with dollar signs behind her eyelids today, she has already seen the pile of loonies and toonies on the counter wrapped in tin foil!
Ummmm pancake day!
Edit--> I got $2.53 in my pancakes.