Last weekend, Kel, the other workawayers and I had the pleasure of attending ‘Thorrablot’. Thorrablot is a midwinter celebration that occurs in the month of Thorri, according to the old Icelandic calendar, which is derived from Thor, the God of Thunder in the old Nordic religion. In the past, it was a sacrificial festival offered to the gods in Pagan Iceland.
The night started out sitting at long tables, with a ‘trough’ of food in front of us. This trough contained traditional Icelandic food – rotten shark (hákarl), boiled sheep’s head (svið), blood haggis, sheep’s testicles, smoked sheep, dried cod, potato (yay), leaf bread, rye bread, flat bread and butter! I have to say most of us were very brave and tried nearly everything! Both Kel and I had a bite of everything but passed on the sheep’s eyes. And, I have to say I didn’t eat the half sheep’s head (still showing teeth), I just had a piece of the cheek. I was thankful that they only really eat this type of food at this time of year!
After finishing the food, there were a number of comedy sketches performed, speeches (of which we didn’t understand anything), and traditional Icelandic songs where we all tried our best to follow along in the song booklet while swaying back and forth. It was really fun!
Tables were then cleared to make way for the dance floor! A band started playing and the dancing began! Couple dancing, that is, which was so fun. There was a circle of men on the outside of a circle of women and when the song would stop, you’d have to dance with the person in front of you. This led to a few awkward experiences with Icelandic men haha. One man said that he had no idea how to dance so with my hand on his shoulder and his hand on my waist, we rocked from side to side in the same spot for a whole song hahaha it was actually hilarious. Another time, the guy was a bit drunk so we were going around the whole dance floor, with me looking backwards to try to avoid bashing into other couples. Since Kel’s knee is injured and he’s on crutches, I made up for all the dancing he missed out on. The funniest part though was trying to avoid this one man who would ask each of the girls from workaway to dance. Iva had many dances with him, then Maja, and then it was my turn. He was definitely a keen dancer and as the night went on he pulled you in a little closer, belly to belly hahaha. He would always ask ‘one more?’ as soon as the band had finished a song. When one of us would pass on the invitation and say no, he’d go to someone else, point to them and bend his finger as if to say ‘come to the dance floor’. It was hilarious! We had a great night dancing away until the early morning!!!
I also want to add that when there is some type of occasion, Icelanders love to take it as a chance to dress up! Just like Christmas time, we all had to borrow some fancy clothes to make us all look less traveller-ish haha. It is nice to put on some make up and dress up as there haven’t been too many times we’ve done that in the past year!
It was an awesome Icelandic experience and are so thankful to have been asked (and paid for) to go to this event!!!
Some photos by https://fistaszkiwplecaku.wordpress.com