Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day

Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Day) is the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. Shrove Tuesday is observed mainly in English speaking countries, especially Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand and Canada but is also observed in Philippines and Germany. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter, so its date changes on an annual basis. In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten as they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was traditionally restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent

Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foodstuffs such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs. In Canada, Australia, England, Ireland and New Zealand among Anglicans, Lutherans, some other Protestant denominations, including ethnic British communities, as well as Catholics, this day is also known as Pancake Tuesday, as it is customary to eat pancakes. In Newfoundland and Labrador small tokens are frequently cooked in the pancakes. Children take delight in discovering the objects, which are intended to be divinatory. For example, the person who receives a coin will be wealthy; a nail that they will be (or marry) a carpenter, and such (unless they swallow it) 😀

In England, as part of community celebration, many towns held traditional Shrove Tuesday football (‘Mob football’) games, dating as far back as the 12th century. The practice mostly died out in the 19th century, after the passing of the Highway Act 1835, which banned playing football on public highways. However A number of towns have maintained the tradition, including Alnwick in Northumberland, Ashbourne in Derbyshire (where it is called the Royal Shrovetide Football Match), Atherstone (called the Ball Game) in Warwickshire, Sedgefield (called the Ball Game) in County Durham, and St Columb Major (called Hurling the Silver Ball) in Cornwall.

It was once known as a ‘half-holiday’ in England. It started at 11:00am with the signalling of a church bell. On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The tradition is said to have originated when a housewife from Olney was so busy making pancakes that she forgot the time until she heard the church bells ringing for the service. She raced out of the house to church while still carrying her frying pan and pancake.Since 1950 the people of Liberal, Kansas, and Olney have held the “International Pancake Day” race between the two towns. The two towns’ competitors race along an agreed-upon measured course. The times of the two towns’ competitors are compared, to determine a winner overall. A similar race is held in North Somercotes of Lincolnshire in eastern England. Scarborough celebrates by closing the foreshore to all traffic, closing schools early, and inviting all to skip. Traditionally, long ropes were used from the nearby harbour. The town crier rings the pancake bell, situated on the corner of Westborough (Main Street) and Huntress Row. The children of the hamlet of Whitechapel, Lancashire keep alive a local tradition by visiting local households and asking “please a pancake”, to be rewarded with oranges or sweets. It is thought the tradition arose when farm workers visited the wealthier farm and manor owners to ask for pancakes or pancake fillings. In Finland and Sweden, the day is associated with the almond paste-filled semla pastry.

Peter Gabriel (Genesis)

Musician, singer and humanitarian activist, Peter Gabriel. Former lead singer with the progressive rock band Genesis and successful solo artist was born 13 February 1950. Genesis were formed in 1967. The band currently consists of its three longest-tenured members – Tony Banks (keyboards) and Mike Rutherford (bass, guitar), who were founder members; and Phil Collins (vocals, drums), who first joined in 1970. Past members Peter Gabriel (vocals, flute), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Anthony Phillips (guitar) also played major roles in the band in its early years.

Gabriel founded Genesis in 1967 with fellow Charterhouse School pupils Tony Banks, Anthony Phillips, Mike Rutherford, and drummer Chris Stewart. The name of the band was suggested by fellow Charterhouse alumnus, the pop music impresario Jonathan King, who produced their first album, From Genesis to Revelation. Gabriel was influenced by many different sources in his way of singing, such as Family lead singer Roger Chapman. In 1970, he played the flute on Cat Stevens’s album, Mona Bone Jakon.

Gabriel’s flamboyant stage presence garnered Genesis much attention, and Gabriel wore numerous bizarre costume changes and told comical, dreamlike stories to introduce each song (originally Gabriel developed these stories solely to cover the time between songs that the rest of the band would take tuning their instruments and fixing technical glitches). The concerts made extensive use of black light with the normal stage lighting subdued or off. A backdrop of fluorescent white sheets and a comparatively sparse stage made the band into a set of silhouettes, with Gabriel’s fluorescent costume and make-up providing the only other sources of light.

Peter Gabriel left Genesis in 1975 to pursue a solo career and Following Gabriel’s departure, Collins became the group’s lead singer, and sang lead vocals, then Hackett left in 1977. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career, with “Solsbury Hill” his first single. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful, and is certified triple platinum in the UK and five times platinum in the U.S. The album’s biggest hit, “Sledgehammer”, won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards, and it remains the most played music video in the history of MTV, thanks to Aardman Animation. It was followed by many other great songs including Steam, Big Time, Shaking the Tree, with YoussouN’Dour and Don’t Give up featuring Kate Bush.

Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. He co-founded the WOMAD festival in 1982. He has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has also pioneered digital distribution methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services. Gabriel has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts. In 1980, he released the anti-apartheid single “Biko”. He has participated in several human rights benefit concerts, including Amnesty International’s Human Rights Now! tour in 1988, and co-founded the WITNESS human rights organisation in 1992. Gabriel developed The Elders with Richard Branson, which was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2007.

Gabriel has won three Brit Awards—winning Best British Male in 1987, six Grammy Awards, thirteen MTV Video Music Awards, the first Pioneer Award at the BT Digital Music Awards, the Q magazine Lifetime Achievement,the Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Polar Music Prize. He was made a BMI Icon at the 57th annual BMI London Awards for his “influence on generations of music makers”. In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, and TIME magazine named Gabriel one of the 100 most influential people in the world. AllMusic has described Gabriel as “one of rock’s most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis in 2010, followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014.

Peter Tork (The Monkees)

Best known as a member of the 1960s made-for-television pop-rock group The Monkees. Peter Tork was born 13th February 1942. The band consisted of members Davy Jones Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, who were put together expressly for a television show of the same name. From the mid sixties to the early 1970′s The Monkees became extremely popular and sold millions of records. From 1965 to 1971, Jones was the lead singer of The Monkees a formed As a Monkee, Jones sang lead vocals on many of the group’s songs, including “I Wanna Be Free”, “Daydream Believer”, Last Train to Clarksville and I’m a Believer.

After the Monkees went off the air in the 70′s, the group disbanded. However, Jones continued to perform solo, while later joining with fellow Monkee Micky Dolenz and songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart as a short-lived group called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. He also toured throughout the years with other members as various incarnations of the Monkees.

Today they enjoy continuing popularity Thanks in part to reruns of The Monkees on Saturday mornings and syndication, The Monkees Greatest Hits also charted in 1976. From 1975 to 1977Dolenz and Jones joined ex-Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart to tour the United States. , as the “Golden Hits of The Monkees” show (“The Guys who Wrote ‘Em and the Guys who Sang ‘Em!”), they successfully performed in smaller venues such as state fairs and amusement parks, as well as making stops in Japan, Thailand and Singapore. They also released an album of new material as Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart.