FASNACHT DAY…the PA Dutch FAT TUESDAY!
Although the rest of the world may call it FAT TUESDAY, Lancaster County celebrates FASNACHT DAY…alternately spelled Fastnacht, Fausnacht, Fauschnaut, or Fosnacht. Regardless of spelling, it is always occurs on Shrove Tuesday, which begins the traditional 40-day period of fasting and prayer practiced by Christians prior to Easter. While this day is synonymous with the image of Mardi Gras (the term for Fat Tuesday in French) in New Orleans, in Lancaster County the word Fasnacht is synonymous with the day to eat a fatty, deep-fried donut for good luck and, as known by tradition, to clear the animal fat out of your pantry before Lent begins. Fasnachts are made using all remaining supplies of lard, sugar, fat or butter, which were not to be eaten during Lent. Here in Lancaster County, they are often made using mashed potatoes.
Fasnacht Day is a big deal in Lancaster County! Many churches use it as a fund-raising opportunity, making hundreds of dozens that are ordered and sold-out in advance. Ready to try a fasnacht? Pay a visit to Oregon Dairy or Zig’s Bakery at Central Market, two vendors on www.realLancasterCounty.com who go “all out” in keeping this fun and tasty tradition alive!
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