Today Is ‘Bun Day’
Today, Icelanders celebrate bolludagur, or “Bun Day.” A variety of irresistible buns are baked by the tens of thousands at Icelandic bakeries, ready to be gobbled up by the nation. The cream-filled buns are generally made of choux pastry, while regular dough is also an option, and topped with a chocolate or caramel glaze.
Long lines tend to form in front of bakeries this day, which is probably the busiest one of the year for bakers. You have a choice of purchasing the buns already filled with cream and decorated, or adding the filling at home.
Ambitious bakers make their own buns at home, but making choux pastry is not an easy task for the inexperienced baker. Therefore, buying the buns ready-made could potentially save you a great deal of frustration.
The tradition of celebrating “Bun Day” just before the beginning of Lent is believed to have originated in Denmark.
In Iceland, parents do not need to rely on the alarm to wake them up this day, for children chase them out of bed by spanking them with their home-made bolluvendir, or “Bun Day sticks,” decorated with colorful paper tassels. Traditionally, the number of spanks the children give corresponds to the number of buns they’ll receive during the day.
Bolludagur is the first of three days celebrated this week. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is sprengidagur, or “Bursting Day, ” when the nation traditionally has soup, made of split peas and salted lamb, for dinner, and Wednesday is öskudagur, or Ash Wednesday, when children celebrate by dressing up in costumes and visiting businesses, in hopes of receiving candy.