What is Tłusty Czwartek?

What is Tłusty Czwartek?

Tłusty Czwartek literally translates to mean Fat Thursday. Tłusty Czwartek is celebrated six days before Ash Wednesday and marks the celebratory period leading up to the beginning of Lent. People in Poland celebrate Tłusty Czwartek by indulging in delicious sweet treats including traditional pączki (filled doughnuts) and faworki (“angel wings,” a pastry with sugar).


When is Tłusty Czwartek?

The date of Tłusty Czwartek changes each year and is dependent upon when Lent and Easter fall on a Christian calendar. One thing that remains the same each year is that Tłusty Czwartek is always celebrated on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.

Where is Tłusty Czwartek celebrated?

Tłusty Czwartek is observed everywhere in Poland. This day is also celebrated by Polish people living abroad, especially in cities such as Chicago and New York. Other countries around the world also celebrate Fat Thursday, or something similar, including Spain, Germany, Italy, and Greece.

What are Pączki?

Pączki (prounounced PONCH-key) are traditional Polish filled doughnuts. They are commonly filled with berry jam, chocolate, or custard and topped with icing, powdered sugar, or almonds.

There are an average of 100 million pączki consumed in Poland on Tłusty Czwartek each year. That’s about two and a half pączki for every person living in Poland. It is believed to be bad luck to not eat a pączek on this day. The saying goes that “those who do not eat a star of pączki on Fa Thursday will have an empty barn and their field destroyed by mice.” We wouldn’t want to test this theory, so we recommend eating your share of pączki on this day, guilt free!

Pączki Recipe from Polish Housewife

Pączki Recipe from Polish Your Kitchen

What are Faworki?


Faworki (pronounced fa-VOR-key), also known as Chrusty, and also known in English as Angel Wings, are the second most popular treat on Tłusty Czwartek. Faworki are a light crisp pastry that are shaped like a twist ribbon and lightly fried. They are sprinkled with powdered sugar over the top.

Faworki Recipe from Polish Mama Cooks


Polish Vocabulary for Tłusty Czwartek:

  • Tłusty Czwartek — Fat Thursday
  • Cukiernia — confectionary shop
  • pączek / pączki — doughnut / doughnuts
  • faworki — angel wings
  • kaloria — calorie
  • Wielki Post — Lent

If you have any questions about Polish culture and traditions or are interested in visiting Poland, please contact us!


We are Damian and Elizabeth, a Polish-American couple, and we are excited to share Poland with you! We have traveled around the world and seen many places but find ourselves most inspired by our home countries.

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