What is The History of and Why Do We Celebrate Fat Tuesday?
So what is the history behind Fat Tuesday and why do we celebrate it?
To be honest, I have heard the term Fat Tuesday all of my life and never bothered to find out what the hell it is. Sorry if it sounds like I don't care, but I don't. For some reason today of all days I thought I would care and find out what Fat Tuesday is.
What Does Fat Tuesday Mean?
Fat Tuesday in French means Mardi Gras. So now I'm getting somewhere, so does this mean I need to run out get some beads to throw into crowds? I have also discovered there are other names for Fat Tuesday like Carnival Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday (I like the sound of this one), and Shrove Tuesday. Depending upon where you live there are other names for the day.
Fat Tuesday is a religious holiday where you eat as much as you can before you begin to fast on Ash Wednesday. This is part of 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday.
Essentially Fat Tuesday is a holiday created from ancient Roman festivals celebrating the harvest season. Once Christianity landed in Rome, old traditions were incorporated with the new faith which has somehow turned into a period of heavy boozing, masquerading, and dancing with a dose of religion thrown in for flavor.
Fat Tuesday in Michigan
This religious time is celebrated all around the globe but differently depending on your address. Fat Tuesday in Michigan is celebrated much differently than in Louisianna.
In Michigan, Fat Tuesday is also known as Paczki Day which basically means instead of feeding our faces with regular donuts we do so with a more traditional Polish jelly-filled pastry officially known as a paczki (Pon-check). The name most of us use here in West Michigan is paczki (Poonch-kee).
What I want to know is why Michiganders don't get a parade so we can throw beads to drunk women who might take off their tops? I mean that is how they roll in Lousianna for Mardi Gras, isn't it?
Where Do I Get A Paczki?
Sandy's Donuts on Leonard in Grand Rapids is a legendary place for paczki's. Here is a list of other paczki locations in the area.
- Phoenix Rising Bakery in Cutlerville
- Marge's Donut Den in Wyoming
- Van's Pastry Shop on Fulton
- Nantucket Baking Company in Grand Rapids
- Sprinkles Donuts in Hudsonville
- Bro's Doughs on E. Beltline
I'm sure there are others too but this should get you a box or two paczki's if you are going to fatten up today.
I just wish this holiday was closer to bear hunting season, I bet paczkis would make a fine bear bait.