Pancake eating is a tradition on Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday, but there is another holiday that any pancake lovers can look forward to.
Since 2006, The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has celebrated National Pancake Day by offering free pancakes and they'll be continuing the tradition from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m Tuesday, February 28. In return for a short stack of Buttermilk pancakes, guests are asked to consider leaving a donation for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals and other charities.
National Pancake Week is officially Monday, February 19-25, the week of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday. according to MSNBC. But IHOP is celebrating their own holiday on the 28th.
IHOP's goal is to raise $2.7 million for the charities. Since 2006, the 24-hour restaurant chain has raised $8 million, according to their website.
IHOPs across the country tend to get pretty crowded on National Pancake Day. IHOP spokesperson Tanya Valenzuela said individual restaurants make sure they have extra staff, but because it's a generally community-oriented crowd, things don't usually get out of hand.
Pancakes are traditionally eaten the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Eating pancakes just before the forty-day-long Christian observance is popular because pancakes are made of ingredients that are usually restricted during the days leading up to Easter--eggs, butter, milk, etc.
Christians also call National Pancake Day Shrove Tuesday for the past tense of the old English verb shrive, the word for the ritual release given to Christians who confessed their sins, as explained by the Belfast Telegraph. Mardis Gras, the name for the holiday in New Orleans, is French for Fat Tuesday.
IHOP, however, does not have any religious affiliation.
Folks can find the closest IHOP to them here.