February 22, 2009

"Fastelavn".


Today "Fastelavn Sunday" is celebrated all over Denmark. A festivity, coinciding with other similar celebrations; such as the "Mardi Gras" in the US, the Rio de Janeiro "Carnival" and the "Fasching" in Germany. This is the beginning of the forty day fasting period that indicates the start of the religious observance of Lent.

Fastelavn can be can be described as the Nordic, or rather Danish Halloween, when children dress up in costumes and gather treats by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. The tradition includes also the kids to "slå katten af tønden" ("hit the cat out of the barrel"), which is somewhat similar to a piñata, except that it is a wooden barrel, which is full of candy and has the image of a cat on it.
The bakers sell particular pastry made for this holiday, called Fastelavnsbolle, which a sweet bun with icing and a filled with whipped cream.

As for weather, it has been some odd 24 hours. Yesterday we had a snow storm, and received up to 10cm snow, which caused traffic problems and made everything look like a winter wonderland. I was forced to go outside and brush the snow of some of my bushes, as there was risk they would break under the heavy weight of the snow. However, already in the early hours of the morning, a wave of warm air approached from the west. Today, although very windy, is a sunny spring day. All the snow is gone, like it has never been there in the first place. Wouldn't it be for the pictures I took, I would have doubted it happened at all. This was the shortest snow storm on record. April weather is arriving two months too early this year, I guess.

14 comments :

Julie Hibbard said...

Man, could I go for one of those Fastelavsbolle!!! (No idea how to say it, but it SOUNDS fabulous!)
Secondly, you must NEVER know how to dress each day with the drastic changes in the weather! CRAZY!
Hope your celebration weekend is fun!

Valentine said...

I love any kind of festivity.. especially those that include any kind of treat-- the ones you posted up look yummy! ;-)

...and whoa, that is weird weather indeed. If you say anything about it, I wouldve thought that the pics were taken during two different seasons....

xox

V

Betsy said...

Yes, I'll take one of those marvelous looking buns, too! Sounds like the weather is teasing you this weekend!

Diane said...

Oooooh... sweet buns and whipped cream... ooooooh...

Hazel Designs said...

Cool pictures!!! I know, the weather is so weird here too. It's playing with us!

Holly said...

I WANT ONE OF THOSE!! They look so yummy that my mouth is honestly watering.
I don't know that I would have believed your description of the weather if it hadn't been for the pictures. (I don't think that you would fib about the weather:)), but it really is such an incredible contrast in such a short period of time! That along with your pictures of the sun paint an amazingly dramatic landscape! It is stunning!!!

Protege said...

=Julie, I think you wold like the sweet pastry for sure;)) The weather is really strange and I can be even stranger comes April.;))

=Valentine, I can tell you that the pastry is really yummy.;) I agree, it looks like winter and spring, but I guess we are on the border between two seasons right and so this will happen. But such vast difference in just 24 h is indeed a bit unusual even here.;)

=Betsy, the danish pastry is delicious but oh so heavy, goes straight to my thighs.;). Teasing is an appropriate word for the weather situation indeed.;)

=Diane,I will buy you one of those when you come and visit.;)) Hope you had a great weekend with the two R's.;))

=Hazel, glad to hear someone else is experiencing crazy weather, hope you had a great weekend nevertheless.;)

=Holly, the pastry is really good; the Danes know how to make it; I guess that is where the term "a danish" comes from.
The weather has been so strange, I honestly could not believe it when then sow was completely gone the next morning, after so much of it feel the previous day. I met my neighbors while brushing the snow of the bushes. They were returning from visiting their family and said it took them 3h to drive about 20 miles. That is how bad it was. And next day, not a trace left.;)))

Gal Friday said...

I always learn so many things from my bloggy friends--had never heard of these Lenten traditions from Denmark.
The pastries sound delicious(love Danish goodies, in general--especially Kringle)--and sound similar to the Zeppola we find in the Italian bakeries around here at this time of year. I have to remember to get some this week, n fact.

♥ fashion chalet said...

That looks and sounds delicious!!

Protege said...

=Tina, yes, kringles are also very popular in Germany. I love the Danish pastry, to bad it goes directly to my hips and thighs.:P

=fashion chalet; it also is.;))

Hilary said...

That is indeed very much like an April storm. There was one just like it the day my older son was born (April 4). By the time I was home with him a day later, our tulips were in bloom. Hurry spring!

swenglishexpat said...

It is interesting how there are similarities in tradition. It must be especially interesting for you to compare Swedish and Danish customs, similar, but sometimes so different.

Mel said...

We were just talking about something they do in Pennsylvania called Fasnacht that appears similar. I was unfamiliar it. That's what I get for being so far behind reading blogs!

Protege said...

=Hilary, yes, I agree, I really can not wait for spring to arrive soon enough.;)) Your son is a spring baby as well? It is funny, how most of my family members and friends are born in April.;))

=swenglishexpat, absolutely; it is indeed amusing sometimes how the traditions between the two countries wary.;) Some are very much alike, some quiet different.;)

=Mel, Fasnacht sounds very much like the German "Fasching", perhaps there is some similarities there.;)