Thorrablot is an ancient Icelandic holiday that has it roots in the Viking Age. While its roots are more religious than what is seen today, some in Icealnd still hold to the old traditions. Today however, many non-heathens celebrate Thorablot as a cultural celebration, rather than a religious one. For heathens it is a time to either celebrate Thor, or the winter spirut Thorri, or both!
Here is a quick little video on similar celebration in Iceland as it is celebrated today:
“This holiday began the Old Norse month of Þorri…
Thorrablot was a sacrificial midwinter festival offered to the gods in pagan Iceland of the past. It was abolished during the Christianization of Iceland, but resurrected in the 19th century as a midwinter celebration that continues to be celebrated to this day. Thorrablot (Thor’s Feast) is still observed in Iceland with parties and a mid-winter feast. It is, of course, sacred to Thor or the ancient Icelandic Winter spirit, Thorri (who some historians claim may be a post Christain version of Thor). On this day a blot is dedicated to Thor; he who protects us from the Rime-Thurses (the Frost Giants).
On this occasion, locals come together to eat, drink and be merry. It is a time to get to know the other Gods as it is winter’s coldest month and a time to be by a warm fire. Thorrablot (Icelandic: “Þorrablót”) takes place in the coldest dark days of the year, and many of the foods served are the smoked/pickled produce of the previous year. Customary, the menu consists of unusual culinary delicacies, known as traditional Icelandic food. These will include rotten shark’s meat (hákarl), boiled sheep’s head (svið), and congealed sheep’s blood wrapped in a ram’s stomach (blóðmör)! This is traditionally washed down with some Brennivin – also known as Black Death – a potent schnapps made from potato and caraway. It is a Scandinavian tradition with lots of viking history.
After the Thorrablot dinner, get ready for group games, old songs and stories, accompanied by drinking (another famous Viking past-time). Later in the evening, dances start and often continue until the early morning when the Thorrablot celebrations draw to an end.
On this day, raise a horn, and gather family and friends together for a great feast, music and celebration. Share some stories and maybe do a little drinking. Now don’t forget to thank Thor for all of this, after all this is his feast.” (1)
As with all of the other holidays and celebrations, there are many ways to celebrate Thor’s Blot. (Some people disagree that Thorrablot means Thor’s blot, but to try and keep things a little more simple, we shall go with the more common belief that it does). From a few nice prayers, to a full blood offering, and everything in between! It is the time to honor Thor, son of Odin and Jord, for all of the gifts that he gives us each and everyday! What are these gifts you ask? Well you shall just have to look around and decide that for yourself!
May Thor be with you in all of your Thorrablot celebrations!
Hail Thor! May he look upon us and bestow his many blessings! Hail Thor!