There's Fasnacht Day, and then there's National Donut Day.
Fasnacht Day is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition around Lent, when special donuts are made on Shrove Tuesday; it was in February this year.
Donut Day was originally a fundraiser for the Salvation Army on the first Friday in June for the last 74 years. Any donut will do.
These especially sweet days have two things in common. The first is alternate spellings. Is it Fasnacht, Fastnacht or Faschnacht? Is it donut, or doughnut?
In any case, the more obvious commonality is that it's a time to eat the donuts.
Donut shops across the nation — including those in the Lehigh Valley — will hand out free donuts to customers.
Dunkin' Donuts is on board with the holiday. For a free donut, you'll need to purchase a beverage (hot or cold), according to its "Behind the Beans" blog. You might want to do this in the morning. The company says it will hand out one free donut of a customer's choice "while supplies last."
There are six Dunkin' Donuts in Bethlehem Patch:
- 1910 Stefko Blvd
- 3055 Schoenersville Rd
- 3606 Nazareth Pike
- 1301 Linden St
- 4460 Easton Ave
- 213 W 4th St
Krispy Kreme, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is offering a sweet deal: no purchase necessary, for a free donut of your choice (one per customer). All you have to do is drive to Collingswood, New Jersey or close to Philadelphia to find a Krispy Kreme shop. There's a Krispy Kreme in Levittown and Bensalem.
The national day itself, always celebrated on the first Friday of June each year, was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to honor women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.
The Salvation Army this year is teaming up with baking company Entenmann's to help celebrate National Donut Day; Entenmann's will donate proceeds from sales and offer customers a chance to win free donuts for a year by entering a contest on its Facebook page. Entenmann's donuts can be found at area grocery stores.
Follow more National Donut Day doings on Twitter at: #DoughnutDay or #DonutDay. You can also visit donutdayusa.com.