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Icelandic Language Blog

Archive for January, 2016

Icelandic midwinter feast, Þorrablót. Posted by on Jan 28, 2016

In the deepest winter Icelanders celebrate Þorri, the personification of winter: that’s when traditional foods are served along with strong liquor, preferably Brennivín.The celebration bears the name Þorrablót, a clear reminder of its Pagan roots – a blót is a ritual sacrifice or a feast held to honour a god or gods. The tradition died…

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Icelandic names’ gender rules. Posted by on Jan 21, 2016

A new girl’s name has been accepted by the naming committee (link)! Although the word “new” there does not quite describe the name itself, it’s in fact so old it can be found in some of the oldest texts written in Iceland. Everyone knows the lady, she’s a key figure in Norse mythology… but up…

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Who were the berserks? Posted by on Jan 14, 2016

Few parts of the Nordic past are as well known as the vikings and among them a very specific group: the berserks, warriors that worked themselves into a battle rage that blinded them to anything but the fight. Today they bear a much romanticized look and are often considered as the ultimate soldier, the unstoppable one…

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Prepare for ash. Posted by on Jan 7, 2016

Don’t panic now but Iceland is loading up a new volcanic eruption at Bárðarbunga, the same site where the most recent volcanic eruption also had its start. This time, if the eruption site is the same as the earthquake site it would be sub-glacial, so there’d be plenty of ash. What kind of ash remains to…

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