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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Poland Series at PolishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Polish holidays and observances. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 5. Fat Thursday. In Polish, it’s called tłusty czwartek.
In Poland, Fat Thursday is not a national holiday, but that doesn’t prevent people from celebrating, and once again they do so with food! If you were to give this day another name, it would be Donut Day, or dzień pączka.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what comes after Fat Thursday?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Fat Thursday is a so-called floating holiday, because it falls on a different day every year. It depends on Easter and Lent, which are dependent on lunar circles.
As you may have guessed, Fat Thursday is a day of gluttony, or obżarstwo, but not just any kind of gluttony! This day is defined by donuts, called pączki. Donuts are made in cake shops in much, much greater amounts than usual. Supermarket shelves bend under the weight of different types of donuts, of which the Polish version don’t have holes in the middle. The most common type of donut is covered with icing sugar and has a strawberry or rose jam filling.
Another very popular treat on this holiday, typically made at home, are angel wings, or faworki, which are sweet crispy pastries made out of a deep fried dough shaped like a twisted ribbon and sprinkled with powder sugar. This is the only day of the year that Poles prepare angel wings, because though they require a lot of work, they are consumed in the blink of an eye! Besides eating them, Polish people also like to give them to other people. For example, the boss at work usually buys donuts for his or her employees, while the employees buy donuts for their colleagues. If you are going to meet your friends on this day, buy a donut for everyone, because you’ll surely be getting one somewhere along the way!
In Poland most people believe that literally everyone, without exception, must eat at least one donut. Statistics show that Poles eat more than ten million donuts on Fat Thursday, which averages out to 2.5 donuts per person.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what comes after Fat Thursday?
On Fat Thursday ends the Carnival or karnawał—a time when masquerade balls take place in Poland, for both adults and children. This is the last day before Easter that people can take the liberty of stuffing themselves. Immediately after Fat Thursday, Lent begins.
How did you like this lesson? Have you learned anything interesting?
Is there a day you eat donuts in your country too?
Leave a comment letting us know at PolishPod101.com!
See you next time!