A little history of Fastnacht.
It means "eve of the fast." The Pennsylvania Germans celebrate Fastnacht the Tuesday before the beginning of Lent by making this deep-fried dough. It was a way of using up the lard (fat) before the fasting of Lent. The recipe I used is from Edna Eby Heller's Dutch Cookbook (originally published in 1953) and is a yeast-raised version. There are unraised versions as well. The dough is rolled out and cut into square or diamond shapes then a slit is cut in the middle. Then they are deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. The traditional way to eat them is to slice horizontally (like a bagel) and spread with molasses or honey.
So eat your Fastnachts today! They're good luck!