The pancake (or flapjack) dates from ancient Egypt and is a food of prosperity. Its three main ingredients - flour, milk, and eggs - symbolize life, nurturing and rebirth. They are best eaten on the full moon or on a Tuesday to round out your fortune. Smother with syrup to attract more money. Also eat pancakes to win races or athletic games.
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, Shrove Tuesday is often known colloquially as Pancake Day or Pancake Tuesday.
Among Anglicans, Lutherans, some other Protestant denominations, including ethnic British communities in Canada, as well as Catholics, this day is also known as Pancake Tuesday, as it is customary to eat pancakes.
Pancakes and doughnuts are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs.