CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Lenten season is here for Christians and the unofficial first day has arrived: Fat Tuesday. 

Fat Tuesday – otherwise known by its French name, Mardi Gras – is the last day before Lent begins on March 22, or Ash Wednesday, according to the Christian calendar.

It’s all about sweets before fasting for the six weeks of Lent, Fat Tuesday is usually marked by celebrations and indulgence and of course, western Massachusetts residents are filling up on some paczki!

“In the polish tradition, it’s actually Fat Thursday, not fat Tuesdays, so on Thursday we had over 1,000 paczki by about two o’clock, Today we have paczki for Fat Tuesday, keeping the tradition, the American version of it,” said Gregory Bernat, owner of Bernat’s Polish Deli that is also selling paczki.

Paczki is a Polish pastry filled with fruit or cream cheese. Paczki Day is traditionally observed the day before Ash Wednesday. In Poland, however, paczki sales are the highest on Fat Thursday, which is the Thursday before Ash Wednesday.

Big Y’s bakery offers paczki up until their stores close on Tuesday and will not be in stock until next year. Paczki season began on January 5th and through February 21st at Big Y. They have raspberry, prune, Bavarian cream, apple, and more.