Fat Thursday is a traditional Catholic Christian feast marking the last Thursday before Lent and is associated with the celebration of Carnival. Because Lent is a time of fasting, the next opportunity to feast would not be until Easter.
Fat Thursday is celebrated in Central and Eastern Europe. It is similar to, but should not be confused with the French festival of Mardi Gras (“Fat Tuesday”), Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday as we know it in Ireland. There is clearly an East/West divide between the whole Thursday and Tuesday thing.
Traditionally both focus on the eating of treat foods that are soon to be banned for Lent.
Today I celebrated my first ever Fat Thursday by gorging on Polish pączki, fist-sized donuts filled with rose jam and slathered with a sticky marmalade flavoured icing. We have a very international office where I work at present, in HostelWorld. As a result we get to eat ALL the party foods. It’s great!
Ode to a Donut; by Donal Clancy with help from John Keats
My stomach rumbles, and a drowsy numbness pains
My sense, as though of decaf I had drunk,
Or emptied some caffeine free beverage into my veins
Three O’clock, and feeling punch drunk:
‘Tis not for naught called the mogadon slot,
But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, lardy Dryad of the teas
In some melodious plot
Of powdered sugar, and sprinkles numberless,
Singest of simmer in full-fat grease.
O, for a draught of chocolate! that hath been
Warmed a moment in the microwave,
Tasting of marshmallow and the cocoa brown,
Dance, and Aztec song, and sunburnt mirth!
O for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful cacao,
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
And chocolate-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen,
And with thee fade away into the tea-station dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the PC’s hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs,
Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Thou wast not born for keeping, immortal pastry!
No!; hungry generations chomp thee down;
The noise I hear, this chew and swallow was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien cronut;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm’d magic croissants, opening on the scone
On Devon teas, with clotted cream forlorn.
Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my hungry self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive savour fades
Past the gums, over the tongue,
Down the throat; and now ’tis buried deep
In the straining belly:
Was it a Berliner, stuffed with jam and cream?
Fled is that donut:—Do I wake or sleep?