In southern Poland (in Silesia as well as most of current day Poland) the acknowledgment and the beginning of the Lenten Season actually begins a few days earlier than most other regions in Europe. Paczki are created at a rapid clip commencing on Feb. 27th this year (Thursday).
It all goes back to a Catholic tradition, which has that on the last Thursday of the carnival, the faithful have the right to stuff themselves. The reason for making pączki was to use up all the lard, sugar, eggs, and fruit in the house, because they were forbidden due to Catholic fasting practices. Haughty dose of calories is the point of the Fat Thursday. It is the last chance to party, before the Ash Wednesday when Lent begins.
No one can resist delicious pączki, chubby fry cakes, fist-size doughnuts with rosehip marmalade and candied orange peel, prune, raspberry and custard filling, dusted with confectioners’ sugar or glazed with icing.