Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fastnacht Day

Or, the Night (Nacht) before the Fast (Fast) 
is celebrated in German cultures.
American Germans celebrate it 
the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
That will always be on a Tuesday.

My husband's family 
operates a German bakery in Philadelphia, 
Haegele's Bakery.
And Fastnacht Day is a big deal.
Several news venues cover the event
at Haegele's Bakery each year.

In fact it is so popular, 
that the bakery opens on the Monday before Fastnacht Day 
to help alleviate the lines on Tuesday.

The Fastnachts made at Haegele's 
are diamond shaped and covered in sugar.  

Haegele's Fastnachts are handmade entirely from scratch!
Below, Aaron Haegele coats donuts in sugar.

Then two donuts are tapped together to remove the excess sugar.

He is assisted by his Great-Uncle Erich Haegele.

Erich and his brother, Richard, have been doing this
for over half a century
since they were children.
That's a lot of Fastnachts.

The Bakery was started in 1930
by the brother's German parents,
August and Helen Haegele.
It is still going strong today.

And one thing I love...besides the dirndls the ladies wear,
they still box your items and tie the box up with string...
just like the old days.

Now if you'll excuse me,
 there is a Fastnacht waiting for me.
More bakery photos can be viewed here.

Haegele's Bakery
Glen and Cheryl Haegele
4164 Barnett Street
Philadelphia, PA 19135

Be sure to read about 
Washington Cake too!


jabblog said...

How lovely to see the tradition being carried on. I remember cake boxes . . .

Wayne said...

Awesome, this is a wonderful story and photos!! They look delicious. A fantastic tradition.

Kmcblackburn said...

Do the girls wear Dirndles every day in the bakery? Or just on Fastnacht Tuesday?

Kmcblackburn said...

P.S. Do they make Butter Cake there?

Dianne said...

you should do the news story!

great series of shots
reminded me of a bakery in Brooklyn that has long lines and TV coverage every Easter because of their baked specials

Unknown said...

I like that tradition! And hope you have a Fast Nacht left for me in the box:) Is this the Fast Nacht eaten, because then the Lent time begins, where you give up something?

Unknown said...

I love hearing about other traditions at this time of year.

We are in southern Louisiana (not originally from here) so everything is all about King Cake at this time of year!

Those look SO good and I love that the bakery is SO popular! Thanks for sharing (now I want some!) :)

Gina Kleinworth said...

That looks so good- I'm totally drooling & my stomach is growling. If I lived close I would eat there everyday.

May said...

Though I am living in Germany(as an expat), I never came across this tradition. I only knew that the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday was Faschingsdienstag!!! where everything closes and people go to watch parades in their respective villages.
I was very intrigued to read this tradition. BTW, I LOVE the german baked goodies with all my heart!!

deb duty said...

That is so interesting. Looks like a really fun place to visit and the treats look so good!