Monday, January 26, 2009

The midwinter Viking feast of Thorrablot (Þorrablót)

The midwinter Viking feast of Thorrablot (Þorrablót) continues to be celebrated by Icelanders during the ancient Icelandic month of Thorriwhich begins which begins on the first Friday after January 19th (the 13th week of winter). Thorri is the personification of King Winter, usually depicted as a wizened old man, kind to those that respect him or cruel to those that do not. Origins of the name are unclear but are possibly derived from Thor, the god of thunder or legendary King Thor, who united Norway. Join the locals in sampling some of their more unusual culinary delicacies such as rotten shark’s meat (hákarl), boiled sheep’s head, (svið) and congealed sheep’s blood wrapped in a ram’s stomach (blóðmör)! Wash this down with some Brennivin or black death – a potent schnapps made from potato and caraway. After the Thorrablot dinner traditional songs, games and story telling are accompanied by dancing and in true Icelandic style continue in to the early hours of the morning! If you fail to receive a personal invitation to a family feast, local restaurants add Thorrablot colour and taste to their menus. For more information on events visit

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