Icelandic lava landscape in winter

Icelandic Winter Festival – Happy Bóndadagur!

In Tradition by Sandra

January 20, 2017

Bóndadagur or Man of the house day

Bóndadagur marks the beginning of Þorri which is the 4th Icelandic winter month in the old Norse calendar. According to folklore the man of the household should greet the month of Þorri by getting up early and putting on one pant leg and then jump around the house on one leg while dragging your pants behind you. We do not believe that many people uphold this tradition anymore though it would arguably make Bóndadagur way more interesting. Nowadays ladies often give their significant other a present to mark this day, might I suggest a helicopter ride…

We Icelanders do not really use the Norse calendar anymore though there are a few days a year we keep celebrating according to tradition like Konudagur, Women’s Day and the first day of summer. And then we have Þorri a whole month that holds a special place in Icelanders hearts. A month we dedicated to our viking heritage with a midwinter festival, Þorrablót we call it.

Þorrablót the traditional Icelandic winter party

Fermented shark

Shark in fermentation process

At Þorrablót Icelandic people come together and eat traditional food and wash it all down with Brennivín. Our specialties include dishes such as blood- and liver sausage, boiled sheep’s head, pickled ram’s balls, smoked lamb, Icelandic rye bread and flatbread. For the bravest culinary souls out there you should definitely try the fermented shark. It is a sensory experience you will never ever forget (promise).

If you ever find yourself thinking you just need to try this most traditional of dishes, the fermented shark, visit the Shark museum at Bjarnarhöfn. The museum is on the route in our incredible Snæfellsnes peninsula tour, check it out here. Enjoy the rich scenery of Snæfellsnes and end the tour with a shark tale and tasting. We would of course provide you with a breath mint or two afterwards if need be.