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8 Icelandic phrases to learn for the mid-winter Þorrablót feast

By Staff

  • Þorrablót There is much drinking, eating and singing done at Þorrablót feasts. Photo/Valli

Þorrablót is an Icelandic midwinter festival celebrated in January and February.


Þorrablót is an Icelandic midwinter festival celebrated in January and February. Þorri was the fourth month of winter according to the historical Norse calendar, and began on a Friday between January 19 and 26. To some accounts the month’s name is derived from the Icelandic verb “þverra”, meaning to dwindle, seeing as farmers’ provisions had begun to decrease by that time of year. 


A feast for the senses Traditional food is served during Þorrablót feasts. Photo/Pjetur

According to old manuscripts, Þorri was a Norwegian king, famous for his mid-winter feasts, or blót. The month has also been identified with Þór, the Norse god of thunder.

Regardless of the name’s origin, the feast is widely celebrated in Iceland in late January and early February and now you can join in on the fun – just nail these phrases and you are set to go!

1.    Skál í botn!
“Bottoms up!” – Use this phrase at will all through the evening.

2.    Viltu rétta mér harðfiskinn?
“Could you pass the dried fish?” Harðfiskur and flatbread with smoked meat are the two most ‘normal’ dishes at a Þorrablót.

3.    Heill þér Óðinn, heill þér Freyja!
“Happiness be with you Óðinn, happiness be with you Freyja!”

4.    Meira smjör!
“More butter!” You’ll need it to spread on top of the dried fish.

5.    Syngjum!
“Let’s sing!” Traditionally there’s plenty of singing done during these feasts.

6.    Nú er frost á Fróni, frýs í æðum blóð!
“It’s a frosty season, the blood freezes in your veins.” This is a rough translation of the first two lines in a popular song often sung at Þorrablót. Remember to roll your r’s excessively.

7.    Einn bjór, takk fyrir.
“One beer, please.” You’ll need one to rinse down all the pickled food.

8.    Bless og takk fyrir kvöldið!
“Bye and thanks for the evening.” Naturally, you save this one for last.

Read more: The great mid-winter feast named Þorrablót
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