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Fastelavn in Denmark

Fastelavn buns, Denmark

Last Sunday we celebrated Fastelavn in Denmark. Traditionally, Fastelavn was celebrated on the evening before lent started, but nowadays 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 (shrovetide buns, recipe here). Usually, the fastelavnsboller already start appearing in the bake shops 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. Unless you’re like me, who can eat an endless amount of fastelavnsboller and wish the fastelavnsboller were available all year round.

The old school version of the fastelavnsbolle is made from a yeast dough with a filling of custard cream and with glaze on top, but in the bake shops nowadays, the predominant fastelavnsbolle is a more modern version; a flaky Danish pastry filled with whipped cream.

I actually prefer the old, traditional version, and Sister T was kind enough to make me a bunch of fastelavnsboller, when I was visiting. 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:)

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Denmark