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World Music Celebrations: Greasy Thursday

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Pączki domowe."

Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week, Poland celebrates "Greasy Thursday," and there's a Devil's Carnival in Bolivia. Read more about these unique festivals below, and see video of the celebrations!


Tłusty Czwartek, or Greasy Thursday, is a much anticipated day in Poland. The Lenten season is close at hand, and in this predominately Catholic country, people will observe the Lenten dietary restrictions. Greasy Thursday means that all caloric restrictions are thrown to the wind, as the entire country indulge in eating pączki.

A pączek is a filled baked good, shaped like a flattened sphere and fried in hot oil. It may sound like a doughnut, or even a French beignet, but it’s not--the secret is in the filling. Fillings range from rose marmalade to plum butter, sometimes whipped cream or even liquors. Bakery lines can stretch around the block, as this delicacy is not just delicious but an intrinsic part of Polish culture dating back to the 1700s.


If you can’t beat them, then join them, might be the motto behind the Devil’s Carnival in Oruro, Bolivia. If you spend most of your working life underground, in the dank, miserable confines of a coal mine, why not embrace the demons who live there?

The Devil’s Festival in Oruro, Bolivia celebrates the guy we don’t want to meet, ‘Old Nick.’ Only in Bolivia, he’s known as Supay. His festival is loud, bawdy and raucous, and is attended by hundreds of “devils.” However, the parade is headed by the Virgin of Sovacon and Pachamama, Mother Earth. (It’s called covering your bases). The festival ends with a gigantic water fight with gallons of water and alcohol poured into the ground to placate Pachamama.

You can hear more about these and other celebrations happening around the world this and every Saturday on World Music with Deirdre Saravia, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM.

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Deirdre as born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and her first paid work was at the age of 10 with the BBC as an actress on "Children's Hour." She continued to perform regularly on radio and stage for the next eight years, at which point she was informed by her parents that theater was not an option and she needed "real" work.