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Fastelavn in Denmark

by Sanne
Fastelavn buns, Denmark
and they’re ready

Last Sunday we celebrated Fastelavn in Denmark. Fastelavn is a Danish kind of carnival, which is nowadays mostly for kids. It is celebrated 7 weeks before Easter Sunday and all the kids wear costumes and go to parties, where they hit a barrel with a club until it breaks and the candy inside falls out. In ancient times, a live black cat was inside the barrel, but I’ll spare you all the details on this part of the Danes’ barbarian past…

Another, more peaceful part, of the Danish Fastelavn tradition is the fastelavnsboller (fastelavn buns). Usually, the buns already start appearing in the bakery stores by the end of January, and we continue eating them throughout February, so at a point, you start feeling sick just by the mere thought of another, custard-filled bun.

The old school version of the fastelavnsbolle is made from ordinary yeast dough with a filling of custard cream and with frosting on top, but in the bakery shops the predominant fastelavnsbolle is a more modern version, which is like Danish pastry filled with whipped cream.

I actually prefer the old Danish version, and even though Trine doesn’t eat cake and sweet stuff herself, she was kind enough to bake me a bunch of fastelavnsboller, when I was visiting. In case you feel like giving Danish Fastelavnsboller a try, there’s a recipe on Arla’s website, which is nice.

My parents’ neighbors threw a Fastelavn party for their grandkids that weekend, so I took some photos of the barrel. Just candy inside, no cats:)

1 comment

Hanna March 2, 2017 - 4:22 am

MMMMM. looks delicious. Not sure if I have ever got one.. Heheh, yes, luckily no black cat inside the barrel. Italians have similar tradition for kids in “fastelavn” as Danes with LOUD music playing in the background. Finns then just eat pancakes, buns, pea soup and spend the time outside.


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