The Winter Festival (The Þorrablót)
In the old Icelandic calendar, “þorri” was name given to the fourth month of winter. It begins on the Friday of the 13th week of winter, or in the period between 19–25 January. In ancient times, Þorri was a supernatural being of the winter but public praise of him was banned after Christianity was adopted. The first day of the Þorrablót is, in some parts of the country, called “bóndadagur” (that is, “farmer’s day” or “men’s day”), when, it is said, the housewife ought to be particularly nice to her husband.
The Þorrablót festival did not become a general one again until the latter part of the nineteenth-century, when various societies took to holding Þorrablót. Þorrablót is now very common and offers a reason for fun over the course of the short winter days, when Icelanders remember the ancient roots of Icelandic culture. At the Þorrablót, people worship Þorri by singing patriotic songs and eating Icelandic food like herring, hard fish, shark, sour whale, blood sausage and black pudding, soured ram’s scrotum, hung meat, and “laufabrauð” (or a special bread which is decorated with a leaf-shaped patterns).