The season of Lent arrives this week for the Christian community and is celebrated in many ways around the world. I bet you’ve heard of Mardi Gras as a common festival of Lent, but do you know anything about Bun and Bursting Day?
This holiday in Iceland follows similar ideas as Mardi Gras–indulging in delicious food before the ritual fasting of Lent. Bun Day is a 100 year old tradition in which the population enjoys warm, fresh-baked buns stuffed with cream or jelly and topped with chocolate. Children wake up early to enjoy buns for breakfast and also bring them to school for lunch. Adults enjoy buns provided by their company to add a bit of sweetness to the work day. Bakeries all over Iceland usually make about 1 million buns for this day and many families make home-made buns as well. In the end, each Icelander eats, on average, 3 buns a day.
After Ash Wednesday is Bursting Day (also known as sprengidagur). This day is celebrated by eating salted meat with peas until the point of near bursting. This is considered Iceland’s last proper meal before Lent, so the “bursting” is highly encouraged. The meal traditionally consists of salted lamb with a side of pea soup.
Tomorrow, The Valley Café joins in on the Icelandic celebration with a menu featuring the best of Bun Day and Bursting Day. There will be split peas with salted meat as well as potato salad and cauliflower…and you bet there will be plenty of buns.
Join us from 11:30-1:30 in the Cabaret and get ready to Burst.
(Photos courtesy of reykjavik.com)