March 25 is Waffle Day in Sweden, celebrated nine months before the birth of Christ. What does Mary's conception have in common with waffles? Yet another holiday left over from Catholic rule, this day used to be called Vårfrudagen (our lady day), in honor of the Virgin Mary. Dialect corruption beget the name Våfferdagen, then the modern Våffeldagen, meaning Waffle day. Now, Swedes eat waffles on Lady Day.
Additionally, migratory birds begin to return home, and the crane became associated with the day. There was a saying, "On Annunciation Day the crane carries light into bed," which meant that it was now light enough to no longer require a candle to light one's way to bed. Cranes apparently carried the light in their beaks. The crane also brought treats and gifts to children (such as dried fruits and oranges) from southern countries.What does this mean for us? Well, for my family it means we adopt Sweden's love of the waffle. This past year I've dabbled quite a bit in waffle love. Here are some greatest hits; click on the titles to link to recipes. And Glad Våffeldag!
ChickIN Waffle (see image above)
State Fair Hotdish Waffle: Asian Style (my favorite!)
State Fair Chicken-fried SPAM-n-Waffle (another of my favorites!)