Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Icelandic Holidays

Icelanders celebrate the Easter season a little differently.

Monday (before Fat Tuesday) is called Bolludagur.
 It means Bun day (or ball day if you're feeling cheeky).
  You eat meat balls and other ball shaped foods, and also ballur, which are cream puffs. They can be filled with anything, but mostly just vanilla cream and jam, usually topped with chocolate. Most people don't make them by hand anymore (because it required the baking expertise of making a soufflé), so people buy the plain buns and fill them with jam and whipped cream themselves. My family just bought four buns from the grocery store because they're always working. There was actually an article in the paper about people baking them in mass quantities, something like 20,000 of these were made (or 200,000? I don't remember) for commercial sale in about 3 or 4 days by hand.

Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) is called Sprengidagur.
Sprenga is literally to explode, thus making Fat Tuesday exploding day.
You eat very, very salty lamb with a bean soup type of thing, with added salt, and don't forget the salt. I'm not really a fan of this one.

Wednesday, Ash Wednsday, is called Öskudagur, meaning Asking day.
It has nothing to do with the Christian tradition anymore, and little kids run around the streets dressed in costumes, going into businesses singing for candy. It's pretty much the Icelandic Halloween, just without the creepy factor (kind of). It's mostly for people in grunnskóli (elementary school), but sometimes the high schools dress up for fun too. A couple of girls at my school went dressed like mice. Here's a picture I found on facebook of this years Öskudagur:

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