March 25: Waffle Day

wafflesAt first glance, Waffle Day may seem to be just another silly food holiday, but this March 25 celebration actually has some funny roots. The holiday originated in Sweden, due to a strong similarity in pronunciation between the words Vårfrudagen (Our Lady’s Day) and Våffeldagen (Waffle Day).

Giovanni Battista Salvi Il Sassoferrato, Jungfrun i bön 1640-1650For centuries, much of western Christianity has celebrated March 25* (nine months before Christmas) as the Feast of the Annunciation (in other words, the announcement from the angel Gabriel to Mary that she was to have a child, the son of God). It’s often referred to as Lady Day, Our Lady’s Day, or, in Sweden, Vårfrudagen.

Since Our Lady’s Day and Waffle Day sound so similar in Swedish, people took to celebrating Our Lady’s Day with waffles! In addition, March 25 is very close to the vernal equinox,  so the day has also become a bit of a de facto celebration of spring.

SPRING!It seems that other countries (especially the U.S.) heard the words “Waffle Day” and immediately responded “Ooh! I like waffles!” Sounds good to me!

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

Luke 1:31-33

*Correction: It is always celebrated on March 25, unless that happens to be a Sunday and unless that happens to fall during Holy Week. In 2013, March 25 is the Monday of Holy Week (Easter is this coming Sunday), so most groups move the Feast of Annunciation all the way to April 8, the day after Divine Mercy Sunday. Whether or not that moves Waffle Day is up for debate, but the general consensus is no.

Two more things:
1) In 2013, March 25 is also the first day of Passover.
2) March 25 is also Tolkien Reading Day, and the day that Sauron fell. I blogged last year about this holiday for one of my favorite authors here.

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