Swedish Our Lady's Day - "Waffle Day" March 25, 2007

Welcome to 806 North 4th Street, Fairfield Iowa

Dining room is set up for the Swedish guests

Rick cooking waffles

Marie helps to serve the waffles

Guests are seated

Linda and Jenny

Christian, Margareta (Miss Universe 1966), Heleine

Marie, Rick, Heleine (neice of Margareta)

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What is Waffle Day?

In Sweden, the feast of the Annunciation, Vårfrudagen, Our Lady's Day, has come to be known as Våffeldagen, Waffle Day.

The feast of the Annunciation, commemorating the New Testament story in which the Archangel Gabriel announces to the Virgin Mary that she has been chosen to be the mother of Jesus, traditionally falls on March 25, nine months to the day before Christmas. Traditionally, March 25 was also considered the first day of spring. Although the  temperature might be at or below freezing in Sweden on Marie Bebådelsdagen, Annunciation Day,  the daylight hours would be rapidly lengthening, giving a welcome reprieve from winter's darkness. 

To mark the change in seasons, men and women in times past would set aside such winter tasks as wood-cutting, spinning and weaving to prepare for the spring planting. They also began eating spring foods, such as frasvåfflor, crisp waffles. These crisp waffles are light but not lite: the waffle's feathery light texture comes from the whipped cream folded into the batter. In Sweden, waffles are usually topped with jam and raspberry, strawberry, or tangy, orange-colored cloudberry and whipped cream and served with afternoon coffee. According to Kersti Wikström of the Nordiska Museet, around 1900 there were several våffelbruk in Stockholm which specialized in serving just våfflor and coffee. Delicious after a Sunday walk.

Today, few Swedes still celebrate Vårfrudagen as a religious feast, but they do eat waffles on March 25, in large part thanks to  electric waffle irons and commercial waffle mixes.