The Market Place parking spaces were closed this morning for the annual "Shrove Tuesday Pan Cake Day" races in Devizes town centre. Anyone can race, so teams from local shops and businesses, children and adults had a good deal of fun running up and down the Market Place, whilst tossing pancakes. Prize money goes to charity from the winning team. It was a good idea to run fast, as it is very cold here, and standing about in a cold northerly wind, was not my idea of fun.
Each team member had to toss the pancake twice while running up to another member of the team, who repeated the performance on the way back to the finish line. Above you can see a quick handover, as members of a team of solicitors swapped their pan and pancake. The pancakes were kindly produced by my favourite pub the, "Black Swan Hotel."
Above a pancake is tossed into mid air. Note the stance of the thrower, tossing a pancake is no mean task and it is very easy to miss the pan! I didn't quite capture the action in full, as it all happens too quickly, unless of course, the pancake fails to land in the pan and splats onto the road surface instead. Several pancakes were injured in the taking of these photos.
The Mayor of Devizes in chain of office, stands left of centre, at the race start.
"Shove Tuesday," known as Pancake Tuesday or Pancake Day, is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Its date is determined by Easter, and changes annually. The word "Shove" is the past tense for the English verb, "shrive," meaning to confess. Many celebrations are associated with the religious obligations of the penitential season of Lent, which begins on "Ash Wednesday. "Mardi gras" is the French term for "Fat Tuesday," referring to the practice of eating rich, fatty food before the ritual of fasting of the Lenten season. I find it difficult to fast at anytime of the year!