Tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday)

Katarzyna Golik, Poland

Tłusty czwartek (Fat Thursday) is a traditional Polish feast. It is celebrated on the last Thursday before Lent. Lent is time of fasting and restraint, so Fat Thursday is the last opportunity to feast before Easter. This day is dedicated to eating, meeting relatives and friends and celebrating together. Traditionally, the most popular dishes on that day are pączki and faworki.


Pączki are traditional Polish pastries. They are deep-fried, made of dough and usually filled with jam or custard. There are many ways to decorate them, the most popular are glaze, powdered sugar and pieces or dried orange zest. It is believed pączki were created for practical reasons –  sugar, eggs and fruit were forbidden during the Lent, so people used up all the products left in order not to waste food.



Faworki (Angel wings) is the second most popular treat on Fat Thursday. They are deep-fried, crispy pastries made of dough, sprinkled with powdered sugar. They contain flour, water, many egg yolks, confectioners’ sugar, rum, vanilla and a very small amount of butter.


On Fat Thursday many people wake up 3 hours earlier than usual in order to stand in line at their favourite bakery and buy delicious and fresh pastries. People compete with each other about the amount of eaten pączki. It is believed that those, who won’t eat any pączki during Fat Thursday will have bad luck.


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