Shrove Tuesday (also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Pancake Tuesday and Pancake Day) is in Denmark and Norway known as Fastelavn. It’s marked by eating fastelavnsboller on the Sunday before Lent. This year that’ll be tomorrow, Sunday 10th of February. In Sweden the day is called Fettisdagen and is generally celebrated by eating a type of pastry called semla on Tuesday 12th of February. Semla and Fastelavnsboller is in fact very similar, it’s wheat buns cut and filled with raspberry jam, marzipan and fresh cream.
Find a straight forward recipe for utterly yummy fastelavnsboller here. But no need to despair if you are not a born baker. There’s always the original deal on offer nearby. We’ll simply pop into Totally Swedish in London for some freshly baked semla by Bageriet London.
In Scandinavia we also combine the day with a carnival to celebrate the feast, with most nurseries having fancy dress parties. The Scandinavian homes will be decorated with highly decorative “Fastelavnris” in pretty vases, branches decorated with colourful feathers and so on. We usually allow the children to decorate it, and only imagination will set the limitations…
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