Who doesn’t like a crisp savory waffle? The Swedes sure do, so much that they even celebrate a National Waffle Day that occurs on March 25 every year. 

Eating waffles is an old tradition in Sweden, it can, in fact, be traced all the way back to the medieval times. The name waffle day (våffeldagen) was from the beginning a miss pronunciation of the name vårfrudagen, which was said to be the day that the angel Gabriel came to tell Virgin Mary that she nine months later would give birth to baby Jesus.

The National Waffle Day, or Vårfrudagen, was later moved to March 25 by the Swedish church during the 16th century, because this was known to be the day when winter would turn into spring, and the farmers had to start sowing their crops.

Credit: www.funasfjallen.se

The start of spring increased the availability of eggs and milk during a time where Swedes were relatively poor and could not afford to eat extensive meals. This is why it became even more significant to celebrate the making of waffles including those precise ingredients. Swedish waffles are much thinner than the famous Belgian waffles and come in a circular shape rather than a Belgian square.

Originally, they were baked over an open fire in a squared waffle iron, looking more like the Belgian waffles we see today. During the 18th century, the iron stove came to Sweden and it became more convenient to make the waffles in a circle-shaped waffle iron, and it’s from those that today’s heart-shaped irons originated from.

This article was first published on March 25, 2018.

Jennifer Nyström


  1. Interesting and yummy… Just one question about the history: when was “våffeldagen” originally celebrated? The text mentions that this was 9 months before the birth of Jesus Christ, but it is also said in the text that the church later on changed this date to March 25. Which just happens to be exactly 9 months before Christmas.


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