Catching up on Pancake Tuesday

GrĂ¡inne Hand Assistant Director


March 2, 2022

As the Lenten season approaches in many cultures, the time to celebrate and indulge in rich foods before 40 days of moderation is here. In the States you may hear it referred to as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In Italy it’s known as Carnivale or Fasnacht in Switzerland. In Ireland we call it Pancake Tuesday. The feast takes place the day before ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lent fasting period. We use all the eggs and sugar and butter up we can as certain products are prohibited from consumption during the 40 day period (except of course on St. Patrick's Day, which we will come back to at the end).

This week we had the pleasure of hosting students at our centre for Pancake Tuesday. We even had one of our Galway based students join us for a Dublin based event for the first time! We chatted about upcoming trips and impending family visits over bakery fresh pancakes covered with sugar and lemon. Students swapped ideas on where to go in Barcelona, which guided tours were worth the trouble in Rome, how their different groups could meet up in Prague. These kinds of conversations and connections are exactly what makes the study abroad experience so special. Students are engaging with the world in ways that were unheard of just 60 years ago, making life long friends in every place they visit.

Luckily for our students and others observing the Lenten period there is an exception to the fasting, which can occur on other saints days. Famously, St. Patrick’s Day falls during Lent and the Irish take the day to indulge and celebrate their culture once again. Many of our students shared that they will soon host a plethora of friends and family eager to see the parade after two years of pandemic cancellations. Staff swapped stories on their most memorable St. Patrick’s parades, eliciting excitement and ideas in students about how to introduce their families to the event.

As our pancakes dwindled, some students chose to remain to study amongst themselves. We were reminded of how nice centre engagement is. The ability to host our students again after two years of centre closure for such a heart warming and cultural event was truly joyous. Looking ahead our students can anticipate some lovely culture trails as the weather finally warms and the daylight extends. For now don’t forget to tag us in your adventures with #arcadiaireland to be featured on our Instagram page. Cheers!