Thorrablot: January 20th, The Feast of the Thunder God.
Keeping with the tradition of old winter festivals, this Saturday marks the feast of Thorrablot, an ancient Nordic Pagan celebration dedicated to the thunder God, Thor. Today the celebrations mostly take place in Iceland but have begun to spread throughout Northern Europe again.
What does this have to do with Ireland, I hear you say?
Well, we also have a history of thunder gods with similar motifs and associations.
Read on to find out more.
If you visit Iceland for Thorrablot today, which is now one of the most famous national celebrations, you may need to prepare yourself, and your stomach, for a typical menu.
Food consists of lambs testicles, half-rotting shark meat, pickled lambs head and congealed sheep’s blood wrapped in lamb’s stomach. The good news is that all of these delicacies are washed down with the Icelandic schnapps, Brennivin, also known as The Black Death!
Following the feast, celebrations continue with traditional dancing, songs and storytelling until dawn.
Based on the pre-Christian Icelandic calendar, the month of Thorri begins from the first Friday after January the 19th. The celebrations stopped for centuries after the Christianisation of Iceland but following the 19th century they began to remerge in a more modern form following a surge of nationalism.
The origins of the feast are linked to the 12th century document, the Orkneyinga saga, which itself is based on much older Norse oral traditions. In this context we will look at some incarnations of thunder gods throughout Northern Europe. 1 of 3.
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