Today, we celebrate fettisdagen in Sweden 🥳 “Fettisdagen” literally means “fat Tuesday” and the name comes from the Catholic celebration of Shrove Tuesday. Back in the days, fat Tuesday was the last day before fasting begins. Hence people used the final day before fasting to eat rich or fat food.
Nowadays, the day mostly lost its religious connotations in Sweden, but the ritual of celebrating baked goods remained. Especially semlor are eaten on fettisdagen in Sweden. These are wheat, cardamom-spiced buns filled with almond paste and whipped cream. Originally, semlor were only served on Shrove Tuesday. This is why you also might hear the expression “Semmeldagen” instead of “fettisdagen” when you’re in Sweden. But today, you will be able to enjoy them all year round, no matter when you arrive in Sweden 😊
There is also a myth around fettisdagen going around in Sweden: On the website of the Nordiska Museet you can read about the Swedish king Adolf Fredrik being said to have died of too many semlor on Fat Tuesday, February 12, 1771 … 🤔
I have met with some friends and Instagram curator Ivan today to go and enjoy a semla myself. Since I have been living in Sweden for some time now, I have experienced the day last year as well already. In fact, last year I had no idea about the tradition until one of my Swedish friends went with me into a café and said “Glad fettisdagen!”. Even though I was a bit confused at the beginning to hear that the Swedes not only have a celebration day for their cinnamon buns but also for their semlor, I loved the tradition immediately!
If you want to see more of Ivan’s and my adventure today, check out his Instagram post!
Enjoy your fika today!