The people who know me well, know that I dislike carnival. I successfully avoided every party in these days of the year since primary school and the only thing I liked about it was the “Pfannkuchen”. So my first reaction to the fact that we will be celebrating carnival in Iceland too, was really not motivated, but like everything else in Iceland it turned out to be totally different and a lot of fun. The first good thing: The whole craziness only started on Monday (not on Friday as in Germany), so I would only have to survive it for 3 days. And it started delicously, with the Bolludagur, where there are – surprise – “bollur”. So, no costumes, no carnival parties, just a lot of calories, I don’t have to say that I liked it 😉 Bollur are huge, puffed dough rolls filled with jam and whipped cream and topped with chocolate and when you see those things you think you can’t eat more than one…
… but this turns out to be wrong you can easily eat more, you just have to live with the bad feeling in your stomach afterwards. I only ate 2 at a time, but I had them on Sunday and two times on Monday, so I got quite some 😉 The craziest part of my Bolludagur was the coffee break at high school where I was lucky enough to experience the longest queue of the whole year and talented boys who were able to get 6 bollur each on their disks and who ate them in not more than 10 minutes. I still am totally in awe of them and of the people working in the kitchen baking and filling what seemed like thousand of bollur.
When you now think, that this is enough of food for the next month, then you are SO wrong, because the day after Bolludagur is Sprengidagur, sprengi refering to some kind of explosion. Explosions are connected to this day in two different ways both concerning the special food on this day: salted meat and yellow peas. 1. This stuff is really delicous and you just eat until you burst. This is the common explanation. And then there is my way of thinking, 2. You know what kind of explosions happen when you eat peas… But out of obvious reasons, people only tell you about the first one.
When the carnival ends on Tuesday in Germany, the Icelanders start the whole dressing up and carnival parties thing, making Öskudagur (Ash Wednesday) the only day of real carnival, this is so unchristian :D. We had an Öskudags ball on Tuesday evening in the primary school, where I had the pleasure to sell sweets and soft drinks and play shop in Icelandic, which I was told I did really well. Plus I was looking really Icelandic and great, wearing my viking costume!!
Even though the kids love Bolludagur (one of them wished everyone a Happy Bolludaur ) the best of these three days is Öskudagur, where you walk through the village in your costumes, visiting all the workplaces and singing songs there to get sweets. We were really busy, especially, if you consider the size of this place, singing 3 songs at 13 different places, we really earned these kilos of sweets!
I can’t say, that I now love carnival in general, but I had a lot of fun this year!
Lots of love from Iceland