Racing with Pancakes: National Cathedral Celebrates Shrove Tuesday
The nation's spiritual home celebrated Shrove Tuesday with its annual pancake races.
Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 12, was a beautiful day for...flipping pancakes in the fresh air.
The Washington National Cathedral's Shrove Tuesday Pancake Races—which have taken place on the last Tuesday before Lent in front of the west entrance of the cathedral for more than a decade—showcased the pancake-flipping skills of many of the cathedral's staff members, as well as of some of the students at the cathedral's St. Albans School, National Cathedral School and Beauvior elementary school.
Contestants in the pancake races (there were several heats' worth of races) were given a skillet and an official (frozen) pancake. At the word "go," they raced the approximately 25-yard course, flipping pancakes in the skillets. Each contestant had to flip the pancake at least three times while running (i.e., not standing in place at the start or finish line to flip).
The cathedral's pancake races honor a 15th-century tale from Olney, England, about a woman who, while cooking pancakes to use up her family's butter and sugar supplies before the beginning of Lent, heard the church bells summoning everyone to church, and—so that she would not be late—ran to the church, flipping the pancakes at the same time, cathedral staff explained before the races began.
Watch three of the cathedral's pancake race heats in the attached video:
3.) Lastly, the Satterlee Special, won by The Very Rev. Gary Hall, 10th dean of the Washington National Cathedral. In this heat, Hall was opposed by Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Episcopalian bishop of the Washington region (including Washington, DC, and Montgomery, Prince George's, Charles and St. Mary's counties in Maryland).
What do you call Shrove Tuesday and how to you celebrate it? Tell us in the comments.