My first experience of Tłusty Czwartek (Fat Thursday), was in February 2016 when I worked as an English Teacher in Katowice, Poland. I’ve never seen so many doughnuts! People were queuing outside the best bakeries, and we had so many doughnuts in the staff kitchen. Breaks between lessons were great!
Tłusty Czwartek is celebrated on the Thursday before the Christian tradition of Lent starts. It’s a time to eat some of the foods that will often be avoided during Lent, and a great time to spend with family and friends. In Poland, many people eat pączki, which are deep fried doughnuts with a filling (often jam).
For schools and early years settings, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about family traditions. Many other countries also celebrate Fat Thursday, including Spain, Italy and Germany. Here are some ideas for this feast day (they could be adapted to the food eaten in different family traditions):
- Design a doughnut day- the children can plan their own doughnut, what filling will they put inside- jam, chocolate, caramel…. The designs can be done as drawings, simple recipe plans, made with playdough and a cornflour mix with food colouring for the filling, made in the mud kitchen, or even made for real if you have the facilities!
- Taste test- have fun blind testing pieces from of a range of doughnuts and trying to guess what flavour filling they have.
- Invite families to share- encourage children and their families to tell us more about this tradition, where do they get their doughnuts, how are they made, who do they usually celebrate the day with? If families make their own doughnuts it would be great to see a video demonstration!
- Make a collage in the nursery/ school of family traditions and photographs from this day to it.
If you have any other ideas I’d love to hear about them!