Þorrablót is an Icelandic midwinter festival dedicated to, as the name describes, Þor, or Thor. Þorrablót is named after the Icelandic month of Þorri from the historic-calendar and ran from mid-January to mid-February. Though Þorrablót is a relatively modern social celebration in Iceland, there is a reference in the Flateyjarbók that states that the Kvens offered a yearly sacrifice to Þorri at mid-winter. Typically, Þorrablót is celebrated by gathering together and eating many of Iceland’s traditional foods and by singing, reciting poems, and telling stories.
Some good ways to celebrate Þorrablót include eating traditional Icelandic foods, such as Hákarl (putrefied shark), Blóðmör (blood suet, filled sausage/black pudding), Hrútspungur (ram’s scrotum with testicles), Lundabaggi (sheep’s fat), or Svið (burnt sheep’s head).
Don’t worry! If these are unavailable, or simply not to your taste, eating goat and goat products such as goat cheese or goat milk are also appropriate options.
Called by some as the cabin fever holiday Þorrablót is a great way to liven up the doldrums of mid-winter. So, take some time to light a fire and make merry. Have the folk tell stories or recite poems about Thor. Eat, drink, and enjoy the company of folk and family.
Gythia Catie Erickson