Have you noticed how the shelves at ICA and Coop are filled with waffle mix, marmalade and whipped cream these days? It all has to do with Jesus’ mother, and with some bad articulation. A short introduction into one of Sweden’s many food traditions: Waffle Day.
When you have stayed in this country for a reasonable amount of time, you must have discovered that the Swedes like to have special food days. There is a cinnamon roll day (October 4th), a semla day (moving date), and even a chocolate boll day (May 11th). And while some of these are cunny findings of the food industry trying to persuade people into buying the ingredients needed for these products, this is not the case for the next upcoming food day: Waffle Day, celebrated on March 25th.
Rather, the history of Waffle Day dates back to the beginning of the common era.
To be more exact, it all starts in Nazareth, a city in Israel around the year 1 CE. With an angel, coming to Mary to that she is pregnant of a boy that will be called the son of God. More detailed information can be found in Luke 1:26 – 38.
Wondering where this is leading? Well – whether you believe the story or not – eventually to the establishment of Christianity as a world religion. And for that reason, the annunciation (as this event is called) was and still is considered important by the church. The remembrance of the day became a feast day in many churches, and it is still celebrated nine months before Christmas, i.e. on March 25th.
And now we are only one step away from Waffle Day. Because earlier, Annunciation Day was called Vårfrudagen in Sweden: Our Lady’s Day. And if you have a vewwy bath atheculayssun, you might be able to turn that word into Våffeldagen – Waffle Day.
Which is exactly what the Swedes did.
So, thanks to their lazy tongues and lips, you are allowed – or rather: supposed – to treat yourself to waffles on Wednesday the 25th. In case you don’t own a waffle iron, I guess pancakes are acceptable too.