How did I not know that the Solemnity of the Annunciation is also known as Waffle Day? Think of all the waffles I could have had in celebration of Mary and her epic moment with the archangel Gabriel!
At first I thought that Ann, one of the A Nun's Life folks from Sweden who joins us for prayer each night, was joking when she said that "Lady Day", as the feast is called in Sweden, is also Waffle Day. (Note to Self: never argue with anyone who suggests that waffles or any breakfast food item should have their own day of honor.)
"Lady Day" or Annunciation, is the only feast of Mary that Sweden still celebrates since the Lutheran faith became the state religion in 1593. In most of Europe, waffles are a traditional feast day food, but on the feast of the Annunciation in Sweden this is THE "Waffle Day" (Vaffeldagen), where waffles are served either for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with lingonberries or cloudberries. (source: Catholic Culture)
Who wouldn't consider waffles a compliment on their feast day?! I think Mary is well pleased. But why waffles on the Annunciation? Inquiring nuns want to know. A visit to the blog Semiswede points to the answer.
The formal name for this day is Marie bebådelsedag (beh-BOH-dell-suh-DAHG) but it is commonly known as Vårfrudagen (VOHR-froo-DAH-gen), or Our Lady Day. It’s from the name Vårfrudagen that waffles come into play. This is a little confusing, so bear with me here. In some dialects of Swedish Vårfrudag sounds more like Vafferdag (VAHF-fur-DAHG) and vaffla (VAHF-fluh) is the old word for waffles (the modern word is våffla (VOHF-flah)). This pronunciation difference is the reason Waffle Day made it onto the official calendar along with Marie bebådelsedag. (source: Semiswede)
I am definitely adopting the waffle custom for the celebration of the feast of the Annunciation. And, well, any Mary feast day! The more waffles the better! Cheers, Mary, and with the entire Christian church I celebrate your awesome "yes" to God!
Image: The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci (1472-1475) Waffle added, though I believe archangels and saints alike enjoy a good waffle now and again.