(Cleveland) - Today is Paczki Day or Fat Tuesday. All over Greater Cleveland. A time for Catholics to forget about the diet because they begin fasting. Many rise early and head for their favorite bakeries for paczkis in their favorite flavor.

Such is the case at Stan's Polish Bakery in Northfield. They expect to sell thousands of paczkis today, and are offering 20 different varieties.

The paczki, a “deep fried ball of dough traditionally filled with prunes” and topped with icing or powdered sugar. It originated in Poland in the Middle Ages.

This being the last day before the penitential season of Lent, related popular practices, such as indulging in food that one sacrifices for the upcoming forty days, are associated with Shrove Tuesday celebrations, before commencing the fasting and religious obligations associated with Lent.

The term Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday.

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