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Buns, Soup, Ash and Recipes

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Get ready for some tasty buns and soup! Traditions & recipes for the next three days are found in this article.

There are three Icelandic holidays this week: Bolladagur, Sprengidagur, and Öskudagur.

Tomorrow, Monday, is Bolludagur (Bun Day) in Iceland. The children try to wake up before their parents and spank the parents in bed with brightly colored paper wands. The children yell, "Bolla, bolla" (Bun, bun). The number of spanks equals the number of cream-buns they will get that day. A recipe for making your own buns is at the bottom of this post.

Tuesday is Sprengidagur (Bursting Day) or Shrove Tuesday. This is the last day people could eat meat before Langafasta (Lent). Many Icelanders will be eating a traditional meal: Saltkjöt og Baunir, (Salted Mutton and Split-pea Soup). That recipe is at the bottom of the post, also.

Wednesday is Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday). An Icelandic tradition of hanging öskupokar (ash bags) on people. Traditionally, ashes in small bags were secretly pinned on the clothing of people. Modern-day children dress up in costumes and sing in shops for treats. It is much like the North America Halloween.

Öskudagur is also a day for weather predictions. Whatever the day is on Wednesday, it will be the same for 18 more days.

Langafasta (Lent) is the Christian holiday that starts this Wednesday. In Iceland, the old folk tales say that even mentioning meat during Langafasta was forbidden.

So get your fill of buns and soup! Happy Bolludagur!


Bolludagur Buns 1 cup water 1/2 cup butter 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup flour 3 large eggs 1 cup whipping cream 2 Tbsp. vanilla 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar raspberry jam or other filling 8 ounces chocolate

Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF. In a large saucepan, stir together water, butter, salt and sugar on stove medium-high until butter melts. Add the flour and beat until thick. Remove pan from heat. Whisk or beat quickly the eggs into the batter. Drop the batter onto a greased baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes until golden brown. Do not open the oven during baking.

Cool on a rack. Whip cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to stiff peaks. Slice cooled buns in half. Fill with jam and cream with melted chocolate or other frosting as a glaze on top.

Saltkjöt og Baunir ½ pound Yellow Split Peas 8 cups water 1 chopped onion ¼ pound chopped bacon 2-3 pounds of salted lamb meat (I use ham instead because lamb is hard to find here) 2 pounds rutabagas or potatoes .... or a mixture of 1/2 and 1/2 ½ pound carrots Salt, Pepper, and seasoning to taste


Simmer the peas and onion in a large covered pan for at least 45 minutes. Add bacon, lamb or ham, and cook for another 45 minutes. Add potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots. Simmer another 20-30 minutes depending on how much you like the vegetables cooked and how small your vegetable chunks are cut. Add seasoning to your taste.

YUMMY! I love all these Icelandic traditions and recipes. Have a wonderful season of Lent!

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