Skip navigation

Portal into a Timeless World

Article

Tradition of the “Millerʼs Wafers” (Molnárkalács) in Borsodnádasd

14. 8. 2014

Specifications

Keywords

Sep

Food and Beverages, Rest Days and Celebrations, Food

Geographical area

Sep

Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén

MapSepShow on map

Making ‘miller’s wafers’ [molnárkalács] is a vibrant local tradition in the town of Borsodnádasd (in north-central Hungary). The development of the sweet wafer derives from the holy Eucharistic wafer in the Roman Catholic liturgy.

The miller’s wafer was originally a customary treat during the Lenten season, Easter and Christmas celebrations, in traditional spinning rooms and at weddings. The tradition has been passed on from generation to generation within family units. In the last decade the city municipality together with non-governmental organisations and interest groups have recognised the community building effect of the tradition and have organized wafer-making demonstrations and festivals to safeguard and perpetuate their folk heritage. The tradition of making ‘miller’s wafers’ has been inscribed on the National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Hungary in 2012.

 
Locality Borsodnádasd, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County Hungary
Time Permanent
Day of “Miller’s Wafers” (Molnárkalács) held every year since 2008 on the first Saturday of July
History (cyclicality) Over a 100-year-old tradition
Organizer Local government and non-governmental organisations
Realisation team Locals
Target group Locals and tourists
Traditional culture elements Development of the sweet wafer derives from the holy Eucharistic wafer in the Roman Catholic liturgy. The miller’s wafer was originally a customary treat during the Lenten season, Easter and Christmas celebrations, in traditional spinning rooms and at weddings..
Ethnographic criterion The wafers are made with two purpose-designed circular cooking irons. Borsodnádasd became the centre of wafer iron making following the establishment of the nearby Sheet Metal Plant (1864). Wafer irons were common utensils since this date in Borsodnádasd kitchens.
Environmental criterion N/A
Cultural-historical criterion The preparation of this cake is a traditional phenomenon existing for several generations. The tradition has been passed on from generation to generation within family units.
Aesthetic criterion Among the hundreds of wafer irons in the households of Borsodnádasd no identical ones can be found. Each has a unique decorative pattern and inscription. The local history museum also boasts a multitude of wafer irons on display.
Ethical criterion There is no ethical problem with the practice.
Psychological criterion In the last decade, the municipality together with non-governmental organisations and interest groups have recognised the community building effect of the tradition and have organized wafer-making demonstrations and festivals to safeguard and perpetuate their folk heritage. Thanks to the concerted effort of heritage preservation, increasingly greater numbers of young people are becoming active participants and bearers of the tradition

Photos by © Zsold Szilágyi

 

The correctness of the information above is guaranteed by the ETNOFOLK Portal.