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by Amelia Johnson (8th grade)

Mardi Gras, Donut Day, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Faschnaut Day,and Paczki Day (pohnch-kee) all are different names for the day before Ash Wednesday in Christian faith.

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent: Lent is the 40 days leading up to Easter. Many people who believe in the Christian faith give up something for those days. Many give up sugar, or dessert.

For many Donut Day is their last day to do or eat whatever they are giving up. The traditions date back to the Romans. They had their harvest festival, and when Christianity was spreading they incorporated the festivities in their pre-Lenten season. As the religion spread, so did the festivities for Lent.

Now how did we get from celebrations to donuts. Many people in Poland and Germany who celebrated Lent wanted to get rid of all the butter and sugar, so they used all of the bad ingredients they didn’t want to have for Lent. The product was donuts!

The German tradition incorporated the same ideas but included a tasty potato donut called a Faschnaut (fawst-nahk). Mardi Gras is the French name translating directly to Fat Tuesday.

Whatever you may call it Fat Tuesday is celebrated all over the world in many countries.

Which name do you prefer?

Image Citation:

Moore, Nettie. “King Cake Donuts.” Moore or Less, Accessed 20 Feb. 2023.