One of the great things about being an expat is that you learn a lot about the traditions of the country in which you are living. I’ve learned so much already in the four months I’ve been here. One is that Christmas goes on forever. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit, but not much. Christmas has only recently come to an end.
A colleague had mentioned something about Fat Thursday and doughnuts a couple of months ago. I liked the sound of doughnuts, and was looking forward to ‘Fat Thursday’, as they refer to it. Yesterday was Fat Thursday, and there were lots of doughnuts, just as I had been told. How could I resist having this as the Foto Friday for this week? Obviously, I couldn’t.
I have to say that I love doughnuts, so it was a great day. I walked into my first lesson, and one of the students handed me a doughnut. When I looked up, all the students were sitting there, stuffing their faces with doughnuts. I had already eaten one, but you know what they say, ‘When in Rome…’. So, I thanked the student and tucked into my second doughnut. This would be Homer Simpson’s idea of heaven, wouldn’t it?
So, what’s it all about?
In Polish, it’s called Tłusty Czwartek. It’s a Catholic feast which signifies the last Thursday before Lent. Since Lent is a time for fasting, the tradition is to eat all the things you can’t eat during Lent – sweets, cakes etc. It’s basically Poland’s version of Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).
The doughnuts are actually called Pączki, and they date back to the Middle Ages at least. They are particularly high in fat, but really delicious. I have always liked Shrove Tuesday, and making pancakes, but Fat Thursday is right up there with it now and is my favourite Polish tradition. I wonder what I’ll come across next.
Have your say
What’s your favourite tradition?