Celebrating Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) with Pancakes

A family-friendly twist on celebrating Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).

A friend on Facebook reminded me that today, February 21, is Fat Tuesday (a.k.a. Mardi Gras)! What is Fat Tuesday you ask? Why is it February 21?  

According to the Mardi Gras website, “Ash Wednesday is always 46 days before Easter and Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Easter can fall on any Sunday from March 23 to April 25 with the exact date to coincide with the first Sunday after the full moon following a Spring Equinox!”

So that’s when it is, how about what?  

Fat Tuesday is an unofficial holiday that is truly as you would guess...a day to eat tremendous amounts of food before the Christian observance of Lent and the fasting that accompanies it.

Since you have all gotten to know me over the past year, you know I love any holiday that involves food!  So this is pretty much the epitome of holidays for me.

Not in New Orleans for the big festivities? No worries! You can celebrate (in a more low-key way at home).

As a preschool teacher I always celebrated Fat Tuesday, not as a Christian, but as an excuse to have a good time and eat pancakes.  

Why Pancakes? 

Honestly, I had no idea until I recently Googled it.  As a teacher (and lover of food), I had read it in a teaching magazine years ago and went with it.  But thanks to Google I am able to inform you that according to, http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/acalend/shrovetues.html, it is a Euopean tradition.  

The site says, “Throughout the British Isles the day before Ash Wednesday - Shrove Tuesday - is commonly known as Pancake Day. In Ireland, It’s called Pancake Tuesday.”

Regardless of the reasoning and despite the religious background, there is no reason why you can’t whip up some pancakes for dinner. 

Hey it’s vacation, why not make an afternoon of fun, here are some of the things I will be incorporating into my afternoon...


Pancake Treasure Hunt

  • Use up some of the extra valentine candy as “treasure” for the kids after they find all the hidden “pancakes” (a.k.a. circles cut out of cardboard or paper)

Pancake Toss

  • Using a frying pan and the pancakes from the Pancake Treasure Hunt, have the kids toss the pancakes in the air and catch them.  Whoever tosses the most without dropping one on the floor, wins!


Pancakes, of course!  The possibilities are endless...

  • Blueberry
  • Chocolate Chip
  • Pumpkin
  • Top with Bananas or other fruit

Bedtime Story

  • If You Give A Pig A Pancake by Laura Numeroff


Hope you have some time to incorporate some/all of these activities into your day.

Happy Pancake Day!!

Christine Iacobucci February 22, 2012 at 12:42 AM
Just finished our pancake dinner and it was fabulous! Bella is reading "If You Give A Pancake" to Luca now. What a great Fat Tuesday, hope you all had fun too!


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