HomeFood and drinkThe Semla - more than just a bun

The Semla – more than just a bun

In spring we celebrate Easter, but before Easter there is the “arrival” of the Semla, the traditional cream-filled, almond-flavored, cardamom-scented buns.

Fettisdagen – “Fat Tuesday”

Swedes have been gobbling up these sweet buns since the 16th century when they were served on Shrove Tuesday or “Fat Tuesday” (Fettisdagen in Swedish). It was a last treat before the beginning of Lent (40 days of fasting).

Now you’ll find the semla at Swedish bakeries from late December until Easter – sometimes even earlier. You can also buy them at grocery stores.

Semla is singular. The plural is semlor.

Nothing tastes better with a cup of Swedish coffee!

Other names for Fettisdagen

The Fettisdagen has many names in Sweden. The day is even called:

  • semmeldagen
  • semlans dag
  • fastlagstisdagen
  • den vita tisdagen

It is always a Tuesday. In 2022, it will be on March 1 (2023: February 21; 2024: February 13).

More info


the Semla, the traditional cream-filled bun

Source: VisitSweden US; featured image: Matton Collection/Johnér Bildbyrå/Stockholmsmässan

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