Fastnacht Day 2011 has arrived, and I celebrated for the second consecutive year. For the uninitiated, fastnachts are just super-rich doughnuts. Wikipedia says the Pennsylvania Dutch started the tradition of baking fastnachts on Fat Tuesday to use up the fats and sugars you’re not supposed to have during Lent. I say, any excuse to eat a doughnut is fine by me.
My friend Matt picked up a dozen from the Emmaus Bakery this morning, and I was the first person to claim one. I ate it around 9:30 – blood sugar skyrocketing! – and actually felt hungrier than usual by lunchtime – blood sugar plummeting. Good thing Fastnacht Day only comes once a year or I’d have the diabeetus.
I enjoy any good food or drink holiday. I don’t keep track of most of them, but when I hear it’s National Pie Day or something, I usually make a point to celebrate.
The only one other than Fastnacht Day I have observed with consistency has been National Tequila Day (July 24th). I heard about it in 2009 and celebrated by going out on the town with four dudes. We sang karaoke, drank more tequila than was advisable, and ended the night with my first visit to the Emmaus VFW, where I may or may not have punched one of my buddies in the face. (If I did, he specifically requested it. Neither of us is sure whether this really happened.)
I learned from that experience and had just one margarita with dinner last July 24th. Even though it’s a Sunday this year, I’m sure I will find a way to Casa Toro or something, since any excuse to drink a margarita is fine by me.
On the surface, food and drink holidays seem like a very American thing. What other culture dedicates entire days to cheese doodles (March 5th), cotton candy (July 31st), and sausage pizza (October 11th)? I choose to look at it a different way. I get excited about Fastnacht Day because I hardly ever allow myself to eat doughnuts. I have margaritas once in a while, but my overall sugary drink consumption is low compared to that of others. Food holidays are only special if you’re not usually eating the junk they celebrate. So, I’m proud to say: I love them.