Happy Bolludagur!

I still have more to tell about the goings on here from the fall, and I will get around to these soon.  But today I must interrupt the ongoing fall narrative with big news.

Today is Bolludagur (pronounced, more or less, Bo-tlu-deye-ur, or as near to that as you can manage), which means “bun-day”.  I know you’re excited.  The day is essentially an entire holiday dedicated to eating pastries.  Wouldn’t that be fun to have back in Americ?  It’s pretty much the last thing we need.  I’d actually guess we’d have trouble restricting it to one day.

Bolludagur falls each year on the Sunday and/or Monday before Ash Wednesday.  The name, “bun-day”, refers to customary gorging on cream filled buns before the beginning of Lent, which they call Langafasta, meaning, you guessed it, “long fast”.  So think of Bolludagur as the Icelandic version of Mardi Gras, without the drunken debauchery, but still with the beignets.

The tradition used to be that on Bolludagur, children would try to wake up before their parents and go hit them with sticks in bed.  For every spanking they gave their parents, they got a pastry.  It seems the traditional spanking is no longer practiced in most parts of the island.

Festivities continue into Shrove Tuesday, which the Icelanders celebrate by eating their fill of meat, which is prohibited during Langafasta.

So go celebrate.  Eat a pastry.


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