LET’S CELEBRATE THORRI - THE MIDWINTER FEAST
We are tremendously pleased to announce that our speaker will be the Icelandic Ambassador to the US,
Mr. Guðmundur A. Stefansson.
5:30 pm Social Hour
6:30 pm Dinner
Music, Comedy, Friends, Good Food
2014 Honorary Member Named
Air Ticket Raffle!
Saturday, February 1st, at THE KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS
1114 American Boulevard West, Bloomington, MN 952-888-1492
Thorrablót Chair: Steingrimur Steinolfson
Phone: 952-881-3326 Email: SIcelander@aol.com
Dinner: $30.00 per person; Children $15.00
Reservation Deadline: Monday, January 27, 2014
HILTON HOTEL Mall of America 952-854-2100
Rooms available to: “Minnesota Icelanders”
Block of Rooms on hold; Shuttle available to/from Dinner
Special price $79.00 Reserve by January 20th.
What is a Þorrablót?
In the old Norse calendar, the lunar month of Þorri (Thorri) starts on a Friday in the 13th week of winter, when the weather is typically at its worst, and ends on a Saturday between the 18th and 24th of February. The Þorri feast has its roots in ancient midwinter feasts, and there are many explanations for its celebration. Blót means worship or ritual, and is a word mentioned, along with Þorri in the sagas, but there are no descriptions of what went on. It may have derived from worship of the Nordic god Þor in Pre-Christian times, but the personification of Þorri has turned into King Winter, portrayed as an old man, cruel to those who disrespect him, but kind to those who honor him. So the feast is a way of honoring him, with the hope spring will come soon.
The first day of Þorri is called Bóndadagur (Husband's Day/Farmer's Day) and is dedicated to men. Formerly women brought the men breakfast in bed on this day- just as men would do on Konudagur (Woman's Day). Some women will give their husbands flowers as well. (Some shops and florists in Iceland are trying to connect this with Valentine's day.)
The tradition of the feast was lost as time went by, and in the Christian era it was associated with paganism. But in the 19th century, when Iceland began to gain some independence and patriotism was high, the Þorrablót was reinvented to connect with ancient traditions. The food eaten is thus assumed to be the food of a Saga era culture that had no refrigeration - when meats were cured, smoked, pickled, or dried for preservation. Typically, aged Hákarl ("rotten shark"), washed down with Brennivín, Harðfiskur (dried fish), and Hrútspungar (sheep's testicles), are some of the more exotic foods connected with this meal.
The most important thing is to enjoy our common heritage and the company of friends, old and new. Let's be good to King Winter and greet Spring.