22 Feb, 2009
Have you celebrated Tłusty Czwartek? – polish your Polish, part 11
If you’re on a diet, look away now. Last Thursday Poles celebrated Tłusty Czwartek, aka the Fat Thursday.
is mainly celebrated in Poland and in Germany and it marks the end of the carnival. It’s the last Thursday before Lent, which starts with Ash Wednesday the following week.
So what is Tłusty Czwartek all about? Well, nowadays it’s all about eating donuts
or a very Polish sweet dough thing, called
basically long, thin, twisted crusty pieces of fried dough with plenty of icing sugar on top.
It’s estimated each year Poles go though – ready for this? – approximately 100 million donuts on Tłusty Czwartek.
As it’s celebrated just before Lent – time when you’re supposed to fast for 40 days before Easter – people have traditionally used the day to go OTT with food. Our ancestors might have preferred meat, bacon and wódka, but nowadays is just deep-fried yummy stodge. But many people believe that if you don’t eat at least one donut on Tłusty Czwartek, your luck will run out. I love it how we come up with any excuse just to stuff our faces.
So anyway, if you did miss Tłusty Czwartek, don’t despair. There’s always
which is the very last night before the beginning of Lent (known in the UK as Pancake Tuesday) and which in the past was a massive excuse to throw parties, eat a lot (yeah, of course) and – particularly in small villages across some parts of Poland – to walk around dressed up and do silly things. The general rule was – everything had to finish before midnight. You were not allowed to have parties or eat excessively for the next 40 days until Easter.
Again, nowadays it’s likely to be celebrated by having massive parties on the weekend preceding the Tuesday.
Image © Derek Farr used under CC licence via Flickr