It’s called Fat Thursday for a reason

Maybe it’s because I feel “fat” after eating my way through the downtown of Warsaw in search of the best Paczki? That would make total sense to me after seeing people stand in line, many since midnight, waiting for the first batch of these delicacies to be served up fresh and warm. It’s reported that from eating one paczki you would have to work out for twenty-five minutes to rid yourself of the calories you just consumed. But, that didn’t stop me or the thousands of other people from feasting on more than one of these traditional rose jelly filled yeast delights. Andy Kryza wrote that millions of paczki are sold within just a few hours.

Fat Thursday is a day of feasts, hence the name. This is the day you get to eat without guilt. The day marks the final week of the pre-Lenten celebrations so pick your paczki place carefully. In Warsaw, the shop, “Stara Paczkarnia” sells only paczki, and only from a take-out window, what a concept. People will stand in long lines for very long times to get their paczki right out of the fryer with the glaze still dripping. I opted out for a seat in a restaurant and a warm mug of mulled wine.

During Lent it is common for people to give up eating sweets, so it makes perfect sense that you would eat yourself sick during this day. Fat Thursday is celebrated by Christians signifying the last Thursday before Lent, warning you that you have only six days left to party before the forty days of Lent begins. Fat Thursday is always six days before Ash Wednesday, which begins the Lenten season.

In Poland, generally sweets, pastries and other goodies are given up or sacrificed during the Lenten season. The ten most common things worldwide, according to openbible, that people give up for the forty days of Lent are: chocolate, social networking, alcohol, Twitter, Facebook, school, meat, sweets, coffee, fizzy drinks. Are you thinking of giving something up for Lent?

Mental Floss describes how other Christian countries celebrate Carnival and Fat Thursday. Denmark, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Spain, just to name a few, all have their own special events and delicacies that are created specifically during this time. Traditions make this experience rich. Searching a city for the best paczki opened my eyes to a day filled with history. Everyone gets excited, young and old, it doesn’t matter. Everyone talks about where they are going to eat, who they are going to meet, it is a very festive day.

I stopped to chat with an Uber Eats delivery person as he exited the pastry shop with his backpack filled with paczki. He said, he has been working since early morning to get all the deliveries out, and that he would be working till the wee hours of the night. After all, this is the end of Carnival, so the party must go on, time is running out!

How are you preparing for Lent?


Merry Lynch


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