Today We Celebrate ‘Bun Day’

From Mosfellsbakarí bakery.

From Mosfellsbakarí bakery.Íris Jóhannsdóttir

Vala Hafstað

Today is bolludagur, or ‘Bun Day,’ in Iceland. This this the day when the Icelandic nation gobbles down thousands of cream-filled buns, most of which are made of choux pastry and topped with a chocolate or caramel glaze, although other varieties are available as well.

For bakers, this is no doubt the busiest day of the year, and you can expect lines to form in front of every bakery today.

From Ömmubakstur-Gæðabakstur.

From Ömmubakstur-Gæðabakstur. Photo: Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson

Many an Icelander went to the local bakery over the weekend to buy buns, too impatient to wait until today. Instead of buying the buns filled, you can choose to fill them yourself with cream and jam at home and top them with melted chocolate.

Morgunblaðið visited the bakery Ömmubakstur-Gæðabakstur in Reykjavík, where bakers have worked night and day lately to get ready.

“We bake buns by the tens of thousands,” states Vilhjálmur Þorláksson, managing director. “We started slowly last week, since there is a tendency among the nation to want to extend the festivity and get a head start. The busiest time has been the weekend, and it’s going really well.”

From Ömmubakstur-Gæðabakstur.

From Ömmubakstur-Gæðabakstur. Photo/Sigurður Bogi Sævarsson

Distribution to bakeries and to work places, which traditionally treat their staff to buns, takes a great deal of planning and work, for which extra staff needs to be hired.

The custom of celebrating bolludagur is believed to have spread to Iceland from Danish and Norwegian bakers who settled here late in the 19 th century.

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. Wednesday is öskudagur, or Ash Wednesday. Normally, children would celebrate by dressing up in costumes and visiting businesses, in hopes of receiving candy. This year, however, the main shopping malls have decided to cancel all festivities this day, due to disease prevention efforts.


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