If you’re a fan of whipped cream, puffed pastries and jam, we have the holiday for you.
Today marks the first day in the holy trinity of Icelandic holidays, Bolludagur, or Cream Puff Day. On this day, which is held three days before Lent, there is only one thing you need to concentrate on: eating a lot of these rich pastries.
The tradition dates back to at least the 17th century in Denmark, although the holiday in its current form in Iceland gained prominence in the 19th century. While the tradition of eating fatty foods before Lent can be found around the world, this is usually done on the Tuesday before Lent (you might be familiar with this due to Mardi Gras). In Iceland, though, Bolludagur is officially on a Monday, but usually celebrated on the Sunday before it, on account of Sunday being a perfect day for laying about eating pastries.
The pastries have different variations in different Scandinavian countries. The Icelandic version traditionally employs a simple puff pastry, sliced in half with jam and a generous helping of whipped cream inside, and topped with chocolate. Today, fancier bakeries run with this basic theme to come up with their own takes on the treat (as can be seen above).
As Lent is a time of fasting, the purpose of Bolludagur is to sufficiently exceed your usual quota of very sweet and fattening food. Which brings us to tomorrow’s holiday, Sprengidagur. Stay tuned!