Fat Thursday is a Polish Christian traditional feast before Lent connected with the celebration before the Ash Wednesday. It’s the last opportunity to eat forbidden foods until Easter.
Polish ‘Tlusty Czwartek’
In Poland, the tradition of fat Thursday and the custom of eating donuts appeared in the 16th century. The fat day was the start of the fat week. It was a time of fun and fat foods. Everyone ate as much as they could before the long 40-day fasting, which was strictly followed at the time. Donuts were called pampuchs and they were deep-fried, most often in lard. They were served sweet, but seasoned generously with pork scratchings. The first donuts were much harder than today because they were made of solid dough, without yeast. Some baked goods were also filled with nuts or almonds, and the person who found a donut with the addition was guaranteed happiness and abundance for the next year. In poorer families, where there was not enough fat, donuts were made in a bread oven or fried on a baking tray. However, in order to preserve the tradition of eating fat foods, they were served with cracklings.
These days we no longer practice strict fasting before Easter but we still celebrate the tradition of fat Thursday to this day and we probably will for many years to come. Everyone has to eat at least one donut this day. Presently, in most Polish households we can find ‘p?czki’ and ‘faworki’. According to one superstition, if someone does not eat a single donut on a fat Thursday, he will not be successful for the next year and luck will pass him/her by!
This is the first time I’m not home on this day but I have Ola, who is also a Polish volunteer and Jose from Spain. We decided to make our own donuts as I used to do with my grandma when I was younger. It took us 4 hours but it was definitely worth it! You can see the final result in the image 🙂