If your mother ever told you “Don’t play with your food!”, then Pancake Day is the one day every year where it is perfectly fine to do so.
Pancake Day, which is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday is also known as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras. Over the 40-days of Lent, people fast from ‘rich foods’ in favour of plain food.
In London, not everyone one eats their pancakes, but they also play with them. Across the city, there are many races to traditionally mark the beginning of Lent, such as the Great Spitalfields Pancake Race and the Leadenhall Market Pancake Race.
One of the popular Shrove Tuesday events is the annual Parliamentary Pancake Race organised by the charity Rehab.
The Pancake Race, which is in its 19th year, was held in Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament.
The contestants who were MPs, Lords and journalists traded their usual attire and came dressed up in cooking aprons and hats vying for the title of the best tossers.
The race, however, was not only about pancakes but it was also organised to raise funds for Rehab’s brain injury centres and to create more awareness of the needs of disabled people.
Rehab provides services to over 30,000 families, socially excluded people and individuals with disabilities each year in the UK.
According to the Chief Executive of the Rehab Group, the Parliamentary Pancake Race is “a really original and engaging way for us to raise awareness of the needs of disabled people, such as those with an acquired brain injury, spinal injury or a mental health problem, and others who are marginalised in society.”
In the relay, each team member had to complete a lap around Victoria Tower Gardens without dropping their pancakes.
Reuters reporter, Mia Reakes who took part in the event said: “It was great fun and it got everyone together.”
The journalists team, who were the 2015 winners, competed against a cross-party team of MP’s but were unable to secure the win.
Labour MP Clive Lewis, who ran the final lap of the race inadvertently lobbed his pancake into the crowd, but made a speedy recovery and secured the victory for the MP’s.
Labour MP Stephen Pound, who is a Pancake Race veteran, led his team into song at the medal presentation ceremony and joked that Cathy Newman “threatened to demand a recount”.
Broadcaster Cathy Newman, Channel 4 News, was the Official Starter and encouraged both teams to play fair.
The legislators celebrated their win with a conga line at the finish line.
Author: Jay Belmar
Sub Editor: Diana Odero