IHOP’s National Pancake Day celebration overlaps with Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, on Feb. 25. The two holidays are unrelated, but both are generally observed by enjoying pancakes.
During IHOP’s annual event, the restaurant chain serves one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes to anyone who dines in-house between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In exchange for the three flapjacks, guests are encouraged to donate to Children’s Miracle Network, Shiners Hospitals for Children and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Pancake Day is celebrated as part of Fat Tuesday. This falls just before the start of Lent, a period of atonement and self-denial practiced by some Christian denominations in the days leading up to Easter.
Historically, self-denial required people to give up sweets and animal-based products. This made Fat Tuesday the perfect opportunity to bake pancakes because most recipes called for valuable resources like eggs, milk and butter, which would otherwise go to waste during Lent.
While this practice continued mostly unchanged in religious circles, various cultures found ways to modify it and incorporate it into their regional customs. Russians partake in an entire week of Shrovetide, New Orleanians made beignets and colorful costumes into traditions of Carnival and the United Kingdom holds pancake races.
I had never heard of National Pancake Day before taking on this article, though when holidays like National Ice Cream Day and National Taco Day exist, it doesn’t surprise me that there’s a day dedicated to this fan favorite. Pancakes come in third as my favorite breakfast food behind sausage and eggs, but I do enjoy pancakes on occasion with fruit, nuts or chocolate chips.
Curious about breakfast traditions and what kinds of pancakes other students enjoy, I spoke with a few from Sam Houston State University to get their take on how to celebrate National Pancake Day.
“I like syrup on a chocolate chip pancake or syrup and strawberries on a plain pancake.”
Mass communication major
“Chocolate chips are my favorite topping. I’m a big chocolate fan, so when it melts all over the top of the pancake, it’s really good, but I have to get the pancakes from IHOP. I can’t betray them by going anywhere else.”
Mass communication major
“I prefer chocolate chip pancakes because I like chocolate, and they’re best on Sundays because it feels more special to start off the week with a good meal.”
Food science and nutrition major
“I’ve actually had pancreatitis and now have to carefully watch what I eat, so I make pancakes at home with Bisquick and skim milk. To make them more flavorful, I add some brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. They’re delicious and a hit with the family.”
“I like waffles more than pancakes just because I just like their shape. I’ll eat them any day of the week.”
B.S. in Kinesiology
“Not going to lie, I prefer waffles because I like to spread the butter across it and let it melt, and the little pockets are perfect for syrup. I’m actually getting married in May, and we’re having waffles at my wedding shower.”