Icelanders celebrate Cream-bun Day!

Cream-buns at Myllan bakery ready to go! Image by Roman Gerasymenko

Cream-buns at Myllan bakery ready to go! Image by Roman Gerasymenko

I really can’t speak for the butcher or the candlestick maker, but I can certainly tell you that the bakers at Myllan bakery in Reykjavik have been hard at it all night long baking thousands of cream-buns for the traditional Icelandic celebration known as Bolladagur, or “cream-bun day”. This day, which always falls on the Monday before Ash Wednesday is a day of indulgence I look forward to every year; however, there’s a strange custom associated with this day, that I’m definitely not going to tell my kids about it – and that’s because I don’t particularly fancy being rudely awoken on the morning of Bolludagur  and beaten on my back-side ’til I get out of bed with something called a bollluvendir, or “bun paddle”. Kids in Iceland apparently do this to their parents whilst shouting “bolla, bolla!” The object of this activity is to land as many wallops as possible before the poor parents get out of bed! Why would they do that? Because they score a cream-bun for every successful hit. Crazy but true!

From the bakery to the buyer! Image by Roman Gerasymenko

From the bakery to the buyer! Image by Roman Gerasymenko

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