Hooray! It’s ‘bun fight’ day today in Iceland!

I awoke this morning with a smile of smug satisfaction. For today I was not the one being smacked around by my offspring with a so called “bolluvönd” at 6 in the morning.
Lest you forget, I am the mother of three children and back in the day the beating could be quite merciless – especially the older the children became!
In fact the words ‘frenzied’ and ‘sustained’ come to mind as I write this.
Yes, today, hip hip hooray, it is bolludagur and parents of young children all over the country will have, no doubt, been abruptly woken from their slumbers by their little darlings, hitting them with gaily decorated sticks, to the excited shrieks of “Bolla! Bolla! Bolla!”

How many times the child manages to hit the parent (before they fully awaken and come to their senses), equals the number of cream filled buns the child gets to eat. Hit too hard, and the child risks being at the receiving end of a venomous, verbal retaliation. Too lightly and the blow doesn’t count. They learn fast.
When they are little, its super cute. When they are older it gets a little more risky and restraint needs to be mindfully enforced.
Once puberty hits, it becomes an extremely dangerous activity for both the parent and the child.

I can only speak for how things were conducted in our household – no doubt there are other “Pollyanna” versions out there. But here is my story..
The attacks were usually planned meticulously by the children the evening before, at around the same time as I, their loving mother, was spending my evening baking up a storm in the kitchen. Whipping up around 25 to 30, cream and jam filled, chocolate covered, puff pastry delights.
There were too many to keep in the fridge and so these ‘stunning creations’ were laid out on baking trays in the utility room, where it is coldest. Temptingly awaiting their early morning fate.
The attacks took place at around 06.00, sometimes earlier, and once the children realised they had reached the point at which they were in serious physical danger (usually after about 3 or 4 well aimed blows at me, their sleeping mother…) they would then run, shrieking, to the utility room for safety and to stuff their faces with as many cream buns as was physically possible before heading off to school – delighted with the success of their morning’s team efforts.
Happy days.

This week is one of the most highly anticipated in the Icelandic calendar, especially by children. It celebrates the count down to Lent and, what used to be, a period of fasting. The week kicks off with today’s bun fight ‘Bolludagur’, tomorrow is ‘Sprengidagur’ or ‘explosion day’ and Öskudagur is on Wednesday.
I am just off to soak the lentils ahead of tomorrow’s traditional soup making endeavours. Tomorrow’s menu is: Boiled, salted lamb. Served with mashed swede, potatoes and a thick, yellow, lentil soup, spiked with bacon on the side. Yes.. tomorrow is ‘explosion day!?
I look forward to keeping you posted.

Have a lovely week!


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