Polish Language Blog

What is the idea behind Fat Thursday in Poland? Posted by on Feb 23, 2022 in Culture, Food

Also known as Donut Day (Tłusty Czwartek), it is one of the most anticipated days in Poland for all sweets lovers! Fat Thursday is tomorrow, but do you know the history of it? Why pączki and faworki?

You know that tomorrow the whole Poland is going to go crazy for donuts! From morning to evening Poles will be eating donuts filled with jam, sweet cheese, adwokat (rich and creamy alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar, and brandy), custard, and all sorts of other utterly delicious sweet fillings. According to the locals, if you don’t eat pączki tomorrow, the rest of your year will be full of bad luck….why take a chance?

Donuts – Pączki. Image by Ceja on Pixabay

Why Fat Thursday? It’s the last Thursday before Shrove Tuesday (tłusty wtorek przed Popielcem/Ostatkiand Ash Wednesday (Środa Popielcowa), so the date changes every year according to the Christian liturgical calendar. Some people in Poland obtain from meat, alcohol and meat-by products, such a eggs and milk, during Lent from Ash Wednesday until Easter. Fat Thursday is often thought of as a means of treating oneself and indulging prior to a period of abstinence during Lent (Wielki Post).

Faworki. Image by Marcinw on Pixabay

The second special treat of a typical Fat Thursday are faworki. These are also known as angel wings. They are delightful little crisps of pastry which have been fried and turned into twisted ribbon shapes (one of my favorite things to make when I was a little girl) . Faworki are sprinkled with powdered sugar (funkier purer). They are very light and just delicious!

Tasty treat that often gets overlooked during Polish Fat Thursday

I mean, just have to try both of these treats!

Yes, you typically compare them to donuts…but pączki are much fluffier and sweeter than donuts, with more eggs & sugar used. Just wait to try them in Poland! My mother used to make her own pączki and faworki, but a lot off people wait in long lines to get them at local pastry shops…so most likely you will see long lines in front of these on Fat Thursday! Take a look at this video where Natalie experienced her first Tłusty Czwartek in Poland.


Let us know what is your Fat Thursday experience?


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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Jean Koroway ( Korowaj in Poland):

    Hi Kasia: I enjoy your posts and learning about the country of my heritage. I was born in Canada to parents who emigrated from Poland (separately) in the 1930’s and met here in Ontario. Polish was spoken at home and I was compelled to go to Polish school on Saturdays . Not willingly I may add. But in 1965 ( yes, I’m that old!), when on a travel/work year in Europe I felt obligated to visit Poland and my grandparents, the ability to communicate, even in my rudimentary way was such a gift. I stayed for 2 months – in Rzeszow area, visiting Krasniczyn near Lublin where Korowaj’s were. I continue to exchange visits and frequent emails with my maternal cousins near Ropczyce. And continue to learn the language. Grammar seems to come without remembering rules (as children learn ). Vocabulary is the limitation – I learned as a child and speak like a child!😁 My husband has learned 2 words of Polish . Your girls have been given a gift I hope they appreciate.
    Thank you.
    Jean (Janina)

  2. David:

    Hi Kasia
    Where can I purchase a gold Polish made eagle pendant and mens signet ring in Poland?