Growing up in Michigan you've probably heard of Fat Tuesday and know that to celebrate you've gotta have a Paczki or two.

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If you're a Paczki Pro or are hearing about it for the first time I'm going to give you the history of the day and why people eat Paczki's.

Matt Milhouse, TSM
Matt Milhouse, TSM
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At the end of this article, I will also share some of the best places to grab a Paczki according to people in West Michigan.

When Is Fat Tuesday?

ThinkStock
ThinkStock
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Fat Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras, is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.

Credit: ahna Ziegler via Unsplash
Credit: ahna Ziegler via Unsplash
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Lent is a period of 40 days of fasting, reflection, and penance leading up to Easter.

Credit: annie williams via unsplash
Credit: annie williams via unsplash
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Fat Tuesday is a day of feasting and celebration before the more somber and restrained days of Lent.

Canva/Lauren G-TSM
Canva/Lauren G-TSM
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Where Did Fat Tuesday Come From?

The term "Fat Tuesday" comes from the tradition of consuming rich, fatty foods before the fasting period begins. It's a day of indulgence before the restrictions of Lent.

What Is A Paczki?

Paczki (pronounced "poonch-key") are a traditional Polish pastry associated with Fat Tuesday celebrations. These deep-fried dough balls are filled with flavors, such as fruit preserves, custard, or chocolate. They are often covered in powdered sugar or icing.

paczki bhofack2, ThinkStock
paczki bhofack2, ThinkStock
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Why Do We Eat Paczki's On Fat Tuesday?

The tradition of eating paczki on Fat Tuesday is believed to have originated in Poland, where it's known as "Tłusty Czwartek" (Fat Thursday).

Credit: Karolina Kołodziejczak via Unsplash
Credit: Karolina Kołodziejczak via Unsplash
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Let's check out some of Michigan's favorite places to grab a Paczki.

25 of Michigan's Favorite Paczki Places

If you're looking to enjoy a Paczki for Fat Tuesday you should check out these places recommended on A Michigan Thing.

Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh

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Nearly 40 new restaurants, including authentic Mexican eateries, breakfast joints, pizza places, and Boba shops have opened in West Michigan in the past year.

How many have you been to?

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You will definitely recognize these names and faces, but might be surprised to find out they're from Michigan.

Gallery Credit: Big Joe Pesh / Getty Images

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