Fat Thursday is one of the last days of the carnival. It is widely associated with feasting and eating donuts. But have you ever wondered where did this irresistibly delicious custom come from?
According to legend, Fat Thursday’s original name, Comber Thursday, was related to Comber – the mayor of Krakow, who lived in the 17th century. He made his mark on the citizens’ memory as a person who fought peddlers trading at the Krakow market place. He’s said to have been incredibly harsh and even unjust, and as soon as he found an opportunity, he gave extreme punishments for even the smallest mistakes.
Legend says that the nasty mayor died exactly on thursday. When the news has spread around the city, the peddlers organized a massive celebration. From that moment on, this day was known around Krakow as Comber Thursday.
Polish custom of Fat Thursday
The main tradition of the Fat Thursday is of course eating sweet treats.
The author of the book „Rok Polski w życiu, tradycji i pieśni”, Zygmunt Gloger, describes Fat Thursday as the day, when you can do things that are not proper to be done on other days.
It was a celebration lavishly dripped with alcohol, during which you can eat not onyl donuts, but also brushwood and pampuchy.
One of the popular Fat Thursday traditions in the Wielkoposkie region was the so-called „pomyjka” It was believed that serving the table and cooking on Fat Thursday can grant prosperity and good health. That’s why during the Fat Thursday dinner everybody served each other and helped the housewife to prepare lavish dishes.
Fat Thursday internationally
Against all odds, Fat Thursday is not only a Polish custom. There are plenty diverse variations of this holiday in numerous countries. They all have two things in common – having fun and eating as much as you can.
Upon the river seine, the last day of the carnival is a time of colourful parades and processions.
The French „Mardi Gras” (Fat Tuesday) is an occasion for eating not only donuts but also wafles, and most, of all – pancakes.
The people of Scandinavia don’t waste their time before the Lent either. They eat the possibly largest amount of sweet cinnamon buns and sweet cakes with almond mass and whiped cream.