Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bolludagur, Sprengidagur, Öskudagur

Three little holidays, all in a row, lined up for this past week's entertainment. Bolludagur involved lots of moms making puffed pastries, and families gorging themselves on whipped cream. Then Sprengidagur was the following day, literally 'bursting day' as one's stomach explodes from eating too much salted lamb and bean soup, with potatoes and carrots. And a lot of water to drink, to combat all the salt. And then you spend the night alone with some Tums as your date, but it was worth it, gosh darn it.

I went to IKEA on a little adventure for Sprengidagur, not because it was a holiday but because I hadn't been yet, and this is supposedly the biggest IKEA in Europe. It also snowed quite a lot (a bit of a rarity here) and it was doubly adventurous to wade through some small snowdrifts to get to bus stops, and try to act casual about slipping a lot on ice. Just kidding you guys, I planned to do that! Whoahauoh!

Little did I know that IKEA would be having a Sprengidagur feast in the cafeteria, and I got a heaping plate of lambakjöt and potatoes, carrots, and soup, for only 2 kronur. That's right folks. That's practically free! Apparently in the past it was totally free, but maybe they now need a head count so they charge two pennies, essentially. I didn't really believe the sign until I went to the cashier. My Bolla, the cream-filled pastry, was 155 kr (about $1.40US) and the meat and beans were 2 kronur.

Best deal ever at IKEA, and I didn't even buy any furniture. Then I bought some sparkling pear juice and I was satiated all day.

The day after that was Öskudagur, or 'Ash Day'. Traditionally, maybe only 10 years ago, children would sneak around and try to pin little bags filled with ashes to people's backs without them noticing. A bit like France's prankish 'April Fish Day', which I always loved the title of. But nowadays it's more like Halloween, except that the kids in costumes go from storefront to storefront, asking for candy. I saw some great costumes today including ghosts, cowboys, glamour girls, and some very creative throw-everything-wacky-together costumes. The kids also sing songs for their candy! At least there's a certain amount of talent involved, rather than sugar-induced begging and pleading.

(photo credit: Stefán,
A bit more on the holidays can be found on the Grapevine.

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