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Here is a little information about the Pennsylvania Dutch Shrove Tuesday celebration of Fastnacht






Title – Fastnacht Day
By – Tina Miller
Primary Subject – Other
Grade Level – Other

This is not a lesson plan. This is just a note to tell you that in “Pennsylvania Dutch Country,” we refer to Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day as Fastnacht Day. The old German tradition has always been to make fastnachts, an unfilled and holeless doughnut. A favorite of kids of all ages. Maybe you would like to put a lesson with the recipe?

Note from In Pennsylvania Dutch country, the day before Lent is known as “Fastnacht” (the night before the fast). Here they celebrate Shrove Tuesday by eating unleavened yeast-raised potato pastry doughnuts which are also called “Fastnachts.” Fastnachts are made because they use up the fat/lard, eggs, and sugar before fast of Lent begins. Formerly the fasting regulations of Lent were stricter: no meat, no dairy, and no eggs were eaten throughout the forty days.

Fastnachts are usually made on Monday. The dough is set out in baskets to rise, then it is cut into diamond shapes with a slit across the top and deep-fat fried. On Tuesday morning, people eat them for breakfast. They like to split them in half, spread honey over them, and eat to their heart’s content. Some people cover them in powdered sugar or spread syrup on them. Today there are three types of fastnachts, one made with potatoes and yeast, one made with just yeast, and one made without yeast or potatoes. Recipes can be found at:

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