Bolludagur, also known as “Cream Bun Day,” is a peculiar and unique Icelandic holiday. It is the first day of a three-day celebration that features excessive consumption and enjoyment on Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and skudagur (Ash Day).. During this holiday, Icelanders consume large amounts of cream buns, a traditional sweet pastry filled with whipped cream and jam, and enjoy the celebration with friends and family. Bolludagur is a beloved tradition that marks the beginning of the end of winter and the start of the Lenten season.
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Icelanders adopted Bolludagur, a Danish or Norwegian tradition in the late 19th century. It is the first day of a three-day celebration that includes over-indulgence and fun with Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) and Öskudagur (Ash Day). The holiday has taken on a unique Icelandic form where children decorate a short stick with colorful paper and use it to spank their parents and other grown-ups while crying “bolla, bolla, bolla!” (“bun, bun, bun”). In exchange, grown-ups award children with a sweet cream bun filled with jam and topped with delicious chocolate, the number of buns awarded is equal to the number of times the child managed to spank the grown-up.
Although the spanking-part of Bolludagur has gradually receded in importance, the eating of the buns remains a key tradition. Icelanders consume over one million cream buns annually, with local bakers producing an estimated one million Bolludagur-buns each year, in addition to the many that are baked at home.
Frequently asked questions
Why do they celebrate bun day in Iceland?
On the Monday before Bursting Day, Iceland celebrates Bun Day, a day dedicated to indulging in delicious cream-filled buns. This tradition originated from Scandinavia, where the bun was typically a cream-filled chocolate eclair, similar to profiteroles. Icelanders of all ages participate in this beloved tradition.
What day is bun day in Iceland?
Bun Day in Iceland, also known as Bolludagur, is a traditional holiday that takes place on the Monday before ‘Sprengidagur’ (Iceland’s version of Mardi Gras) and Ash Wednesday.