Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fastelavn Days

Traditional fastelavnsris, a bunch of budding birch twigs decorated with colourful paper strips or feathers. The fastelavnsris is a remnant of old Lent traditions. Historically they came from pagan fertility rites, people would use them for whipping themselves. In Lent traditions children would whip their parents. Today we just keep them in a vase for decoration, and the profits from the sale goes to charity. The last days before Lent are referred to as fastelavn in Scandinavia. In Norway Shrove Tuesday is called Fat Tuesday, because you're supposed to fill up before the fasting begins, yesterday was Blue Monday. Fastelavn Sunday is also called "Bun Sunday" in Norway, referring to the tradition of eating sweet buns with whipped cream.

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