IHOP National Pancake Day-free pancakes!

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Photo from 'Pink Sherbet Photography' via Flickr

Photo from 'Pink Sherbet Photography' via Flickr

Although National Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday) was officially celebrated earlier this week, IHOP, The International House of Pancakes, is celebrating this specialized holiday this Tuesday, February 23rd.

To kick off the National Pancake Day IHOP will be giving away free short stacks to everyone! Most San Diego IHOPS will be giving away free pancakes all day until 10 pm, so be sure to head over to your local IHOP to get in on the free, syrupy deliciousness!

This year, IHOP aims to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and encourages pancake participants to make a donation. IHOP celebrates National Pancake Day a week later than the holiday’s official date in order to extend the fundraising window and maximize donations. IHOP has been celebrating its very own National Pancake Day since 2006, and has raised more than $3.25 million to support charities in local communities.

The real name for the official National Pancake Day (not IHOP’s week later version) is ‘Shrove Tuesday,’ which dates back several centuries. Shrove Tuesday is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent. During Lent, participants are prohibited from eating all dairy products, so a plethora of pancakes were made the day before in order to use up all eggs, milk and butter. It was considered a “last feast” of sugar, fat and dairy products. Shrove Tuesday was meant to celebrate the high spirits before the long and somber season of Lent.

Because of the diverse beliefs and traditions of the United States, many of us are more familiar with Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday as the designation of this Tuesday.

Different countries and cultures feast on different foods on this special Tuesday. In addition to pancakes, Lithuania enjoys donuts (called spurgos). Iceland instead eats a lot of salt meat and peas, and their day is known as “Bursting Day” (Sprengidagur). Hawaii feasts on malasada, a Portuguese sugarcoated pastry, in order to use up all their butter and sugar before Lent. Their Fat Tuesday is known as “Malasada Day.”

We all have different celebrations, backgrounds and beliefs, but there’s one thing we can all agree on: free IHOP pancakes are a spectacular idea! So come on down, San Diego, bring your friends and family and get a free short stack! Plus, you can support a good cause while doing it!

To find an IHOP near you, click here.

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