How March 25th became Sweden’s national Waffle Day, thanks to mispronunciation

How March 25th became Sweden's national Waffle Day, thanks to mispronunciation
Swedish waffles. File photo: Jurek Holzer/TT
Swedes tuck into waffles on March 25th in celebration of national Waffle Day (Våffeldagen), but did you know that the whole tradition is the result of a mispronunciation?
March 25th marks Våffeldagen in Sweden, where people celebrate by enjoying a waffle in all its crispy glory. In Sweden, the waffles are often enjoyed with cream and jam, with berries, or sometimes plain with no topping at all.
 
But forgive us, we’re waffling on. 
 

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The interesting thing about Waffle Day is how the tradition came about. It wasn’t always a dessert-themed day, previously having a holier but less delicious meaning.

Instead of Våffeldagen, the day was known as “Vårfrudagen” (Our Lady Day), a celebration of the day the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she would give birth to Jesus, according to Catholic doctrine.
 
The Swedish name Vårfrudagen sounds so similar to Våffeldagen (especially if you have a mouthful of waffle) that Swedes went with it.

Really, it’s no surprise.

Sweden is very proud of its baked goods and never passes up a chance to honour them (and give a boost to the patisserie industry) with a national day. In February, it’s semla day where the entire country goes bananas for massive creamy buns, while October 4th is the day for celebrating the cinnamon bun

Member comments

  1. A minor correction: Vårfrugagen (March 25) celebrates the feast of the Annunciation. It commemorates the visit of the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary during which he informed her that she would be the mother of Jesus. Mary’s (immaculate) conception is celebrated on December 8 and commemorates the belief that Mary was born free of original sin.

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