The closest Sunday to March 25 is Our Lady Annunciation Day. It happens to occur approximately nine months before Christmas (birthdate of Jesus), making it a virtuous theological date for pinning down the time of the conception of Jesus (supposedly by the Holy Spirit), in the womb of Our Lady Maria.
May this be as it may – I mean the spooky conception business – but what is particularly interesting in Sweden about the period around Our Lady Annunciation Day is that
everybody eats waffles.
Eating waffles in itself is hardly surprising – in most countries waffles are eaten in springtime, due to increased egg-production around that time of the year. But what is a bit curious is that the day in question is mainly called ‘Waffles Day’ in Sweden, not often ‘Our Lady Day’. Such a theologically un-orthodox name for an important date in the Christian Ecclesiastic Calendar demands an explanation, and here it is:
‘Our Lady Day’ in Swedish is ‘Vår Fru Dagen’, which is usually contracted to ‘Vårfrudagen’. And if you pronounce that latter word quickly, indistinctly and ignorantly, then you will almost automatically get ‘Våffeldagen’ = Waffles Day.
As you may remember from history, the Southern parts of present-day Sweden are actually occupied territories of Denmark. Swedish occupation of these ancient Danish lands has been going on since 1658 and the inhabitants continue to this day to speak some sort of funny Danish. Their speech is in any case unintelligible to Swedes living further north. Sadly enough, it additionally deprives these poor Danish victims of Swedish occupation from ‘Waffles Day’. Because in Danish ‘Our Lady Day’ is ‘Fruedagen’, a word that would be impossible to mispronounce as ‘Våffeldagen’ = Waffles Day.
But I’m told that the poor bastards eat waffles all the same, in spite of their regrettable lack of Waffles Day.