Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A "Dutchy" Fat Tuesday

When we lived near New Orleans, I'll admit that I got caught up in Fat Tuesday and King Cakes and Mardi Gras and beads and so on, but my heart is Pennsylvania Dutch and it belongs to Fastnacht Day. Fastnacht Day is a tradition among the German in Pennsylvania that basically involves the consumption of heavy doughnuts "for luck" before the austere season of Lent. It's a PA German version of Fat Tuesday. Of course, there are no wild parties or bead-throwing on Fastnacht Day. We are German, after all. We still get up at the break of dawn, scrub the kitchen floor, throw in a load of laundry, have a fastnacht and a cup of coffee, and then go find something else to sweep or scrub. This is why my housekeeping makes my German genes hang their heads in shame - I don't do nearly enough hands-and-knees scrubbing, and I recycle almost all of Baby Girl's food jars instead of saving them neatly for a future use.
I don't know that Rob has even a drop of German blood in him, but he happily indulges my fastnacht revelries - I suspect that's because there are doughnuts involved. Older Girl doesn't eat doughnuts unless they are chocolate covered, but The Boy seems to have jumped onto the Fastnacht Day bandwagon, and Baby Girl tried to rip one out of my hand this morning. She'll be a prime candidate next year.
So to all my "dutchy" and non-dutchy friends alike, I heartily wish you a Happy Fastnacht Day!
Laissez le bon fastnachts roulez!


  1. Anonymous1:49 PM

    remember when the Reading Fire Company used to give 'em out? Yum!

  2. never heard of that before! how very cool. i am down with any holiday that is doughnut centered!

  3. Johanna9:01 PM

    mmmm i definately got some fastnachts today to support the german side of the family... now i'm waiting for the phone call to have a shot with my dad to celebrate fašengi (the slovak side of the family)

  4. *cue Homer Simpson* mmmmm, fastnachts...*drool* We used to eat ours with butter and turkey syrup. People look at you like you've got two heads and one of them is purple if you mention fastnachts down here. Well, apparantly except at one house Wayne visited during his rounds at work today. Lucky son of a gun had a fastnacht with one of his customers.
    Thanks for the shout out to the Dutchies, Lil Hott!

  5. Hey! I was able to do that this weekend since we were visiting home. On Sunday morning I drove up Perkiomen Ave, rolled down the car window and bought a fresh dozen from the Mt. Penn Fire Co. And they tasted sooooo good yesterday!!

  6. Yeah, the ones from the fire companies are the best, but I'd have to drive all the way into Emmaus to get them here. But both Giant and Redner's make some pretty decent fastnachts, so that's what we do. But I'm so happy that I can say "fastnacht" here and people don't say "God Bless You"

  7. ROTFL!! Fastnacht rouler? Two different languages there, babe, one great senitment...

  8. Anonymous10:10 AM

    We never heard of a fastnacht until we moved to beautiful Berks County, the "green diamond",the land of the Pennsylvania Germans. We latched on to the custom with relish. I truly loved our "Reading,PA days" and all of the wonderful people we met and loved through the years. Sad to say, more and more of the old Dutchies are gone, and with them, all the lovely traditions...


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