In the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland, there is a long history of celebrating this winter festival, which grew in popularity during the late 1800' s in Iceland. In modern Iceland the Thorrablot takes place on the Friday that falls in between the dates of January 19th to the 25th. That of course makes it fall on the 20th this year. Some Christians refuse to join in this wonderful celebration because toasts of honor are are made to the old Gods. But for most it is a matter of tradition more than a religious ceremony, and they see no harm in participating in the event. In most of the Scandinavian countries there is still a " fondness " for the Old Gods, even if they do not directly honor the Gods of their ancestors.
For breakfast the morning of the ritual / feast, I adhere to what is mentioned in the book " Our Troth " , in the rites and practices section, where it says to eat a breakfast of oats and pickled herring to honor great Thor. For the feast that I hold after the ritual, however, I like to go all out, and have a wide variety of meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, and cheeses. To me each of these foods represents the foods of our ancestors, would have killed, harvested, or made for themselves. Of course in winters gone by some of these foods would have been preserved to protect the food from the harsh months that came after the harvest. My apologies go out to the people of Iceland, but I cannot, and will not, put out some of the dishes they serve for this ritual !
Though I do not like to tell anyone how to hold a ritual, or what to say I will mention the folowing : I ask Thor to protect us from the awful might of the Frost Giants, and ask him to give us the strength to "weather" the winter months. I also ask the great Huntress Skadhi to show us her secrets of becoming one with the winter season. For no God or Goddess in our pantheon is better adapted, or more comfortable, in the cold and desolation of winter than great Skadhi. I ask Sunna to brighten our days, and our hearts, with her radiant warming sunshine. This is also one of the few rituals when I directly address the Jotuns as well, and ask them to be merciful on us during these cold and dreary days of winter. Finally I ask the Vanir, our great fertility Gods and Goddesses to "allow" this harsh season to be brief, and to let the ground thaw early to let life begin anew.
An Independent Asatru is now on Facebook !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyjas love, and Thor's protection !