Fastnachts a tradition, but what does it mean? - abc27 WHTM

Fastnachts a tradition, but what does it mean?

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YORK, Pa. (WHTM) -

We know what a fastnacht is.

"It's a special dough, it's a heavy dough that they make for the fastnachts, so it's not the same as a donut," said Nancy Leik at the York County Heritage Trust.

There are multiple acceptable ways to spell it - fastnacht, fasnacht, faschnacht and fosnot to name a few - and for the most part we know how to pronounce it.

We also know where it all started. 

"Fastnacht Day is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition," said Leik.

"You used to have to use up all the lard before Ash Wednesday," said Judy Snyder of York.

We even know how we like our fastnachts.

"I like them powdered or plain," said Sandra Yeager of York.

"I prefer the old-style fastnacht," Snyder said.

But let me ask you this: do you know what the word fastnacht means?

"No," said Leik.

"No," said Snyder.

"Do I know what it means? Not exactly," said Yeager.

"I did, but I have forgotten," said Mardella Brenneman of York.

Fastnacht is a German word that means "night before the fast."

"I have a German background. I should know that," said Brenneman.

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