IHOP hosted its National Pancake Day at restaurant locations across the country Tuesday, serving up short stacks of their buttermilk pancakes all throughout the day.

Instead of paying for your pancakes, IHOP asked that you make a donation to the Children’s Miracle Network. Since 2006, the breakfast chain has raised over $10 million. Keeping the free flapjack promotion until 10 p.m., yesterday, IHOP was hoping to break the $3 million mark. Traditionally held the Tuesday prior to Fat Tuesday, it arrived a bit early this year, though many still made it out to benefit from the free all-day breakfast.

National Pancake Day is not to be confused with International Pancake Day. International Pancake Day, celebrated in countries across the globe, consistently is celebrated on Fat Tuesday – which falls on Feb. 12 this year. The scheduling makes a great deal of sense, as many of the European nations observe the Christian season of fasting, otherwise known as Lent. Dating back to the Middle Ages, the UK, Sweden, Poland and others have filled up on decadent pastries and pancakes prior to Ash Wednesday, which comes the day after the aptly named Fat Tuesday.

It’s uncertain as to why IHOP chose to break away from the multicultural tradition in order to have its own. It might have something to do with the desire to have the appearance of being a more secular holiday, despite still falling around the time of the religious Fat Tuesday. Whatever it may be, IHOP gives everyone an excuse to indulge in the fluffy goodness of flapjacks two Tuesdays in a row in February.

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