Sprengidagur – Explosion Day in Iceland!

sprengidagur or explosion day in Iceland. A kitchen table is laden with lots of local food and icelandic delicacies

by Lucky Byfleet

Have you ever eaten so much you feel as though you might pop? Icelanders do, on the day after Bolludagur they have Sprengidagur. It literally translates to ‘Blast’ or ‘Explosion’ day.

 The tradition comes from the Christian period of Lent and can be found all over the world, most famously as Mardi Gras. This is the Icelandic equivalent, there are fewer sequins, but brilliant food!

This used to be the last day before Lent, a time of fasting, so everyone would eat as much as they could. Now we don’t fast throughout Lent, but the tradition of eating way too much on Sprengidagur holds strong.

What do Icelanders eat on Sprengidagur?

Icelanders eat something very particular on explosion day. The meal was quite common throughout history, and can still be found on Icelandic dining tables year round. However it became more and more associated with this day so now everyone eats it then. It’s SO Icelandic, and SO good.

The Icelandic traditional meal is soup made from lentils and vegetables accompanied by salted meat. The dish itself is called ‘saltkjöt og baunir’ in Icelandic, salted meat and beans. As this is the last day before Lent, a period celebrated by fasting, people would use the opportunity and eat their fill, many to the brink of bursting, hence the name.  

image from Bragi H

We hope you enjoyed learning about another awesome festival we have here in Iceland. We hope you can visit us some day soon and taste our delicious food!


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