On March 25, traditionally in Sweden, International Waffle Day is celebrated to mark the beginning of spring. Unsurprisingly, waffles are typically eaten on this day. The origin of the word can be traced back as Våffeldagen, actually due to confusion between the Swedish vårfrudagen meaning ‘Our Lady’s Day’ which falls on the same date, nine months before Christmas Day.
But waffles are so good, they are like the Queen…. they have two ‘birthdays’! The second began in the USA and honours the anniversary of the patenting of the first US waffle iron invented by Cornelius Swarthout of Troy, New York. This is celebrated on August 24.
This year’s theme for the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is “Victory over Slavery: Haiti and Beyond“. As the United Nations website states: ‘For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.’
This day aims to raise awareness of the dangers of prejudice and racism today as well as offering an opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system.
The Abolition of Slave Trade Act came into force in 1807. The act made it illegal to trade slaves from Africa to the British colonies. In an attempt to combat illicit transportation following this act, many of the British Colonies began keeping registers of black slaves who had been so-called ‘lawfully enslaved’. In 1819, the Office for the Registry of Colonial Slaves was established in London and copies of the slave registers kept by the colonies were sent to this office. Registration generally occurred once every three years. The registers continued right up to 1834 when slavery was officially abolished. Ancestry has digitised these registers, entitled the Slave Registers of former British Colonial Dependencies 1812-1834.