My life-long friend Elizabeth Scott, her lifetime not mine that is, just arrived from London for a too short a holiday with this Christmas tree decoration she found for me in Selfridges. I love it!!! Thank you Elizabeth. I’ll have to consider now if I might replace the angel on the top of our tree with this chariot of the Gods. Considering… considering … considering, okay decided, the angel goes.
A big factor in my decision in going with the Gods is the artwork James sent me earlier this week from pages 28/29 showing all the Norse Gods in full battle flight. It scared the living daylight out of me, to say nothing of the poor little kids in our target audience who will be subjected to it in a few months time. I can just see the headlines now, Children’s Book Banned in all Schools. Parents Complain of Nightmares. Child refuses to attend Sunday School in case the Norse Gods will be angry with her. (And they well may be.)
Thorrablot (in Icelandic: Þorrablót) takes place in the coldest dark days of the year, and it’s interesting to keep in mind that many of the foods served are actually the smoked/pickled produce of the previous year. It is a Scandinavian tradition with lots of viking history.
The Thorrablot celebration starts with dinner. For the midwinter feast, Icelanders serve what was normal day-to-day food for Vikings, and turn back to nature-made food that is smoked, laid in mysa (a sour milk-product), salted, dried or kaestur (rotting and setting meat). Thorrablot isn’t for queasy stomachs.
Sample plate in photo:
- Hákarl (putrefied shark)
- Blóðmör (filled sausage/black pudding)
- Hrútspungur (ram’s scrotum with testicles)
- Lundabaggi (sheep’s fat)
- Svinasulta (jellied ham)
- Svið (jellied sheep’s head)
- Harðfiskur (bread spread made of fish)
- Hangikjot (smoked lamb)
After the Thorrablot dinner, don’t be surprised at people’s bad breath (blame the menu)! Get ready for group games and old songs and stories, accompanied by Brennivin (Iceland‘s strong schnapps). It’ll definitely get that rotten meat taste out of your mouth.
Later in the evening, dances start and often continue until the early morning when Thorrablot celebrations draw to an end.
Yep, that sounds like a right Merry Thorrabloto time at our house! And a happy new year as well.