Skate Served St. Thorlákur’s Mass in Summer Skip to content

Skate Served St. Thorlákur’s Mass in Summer

A skate “mass” will be celebrated at Gardur on Reykjanes peninsula, southwest Iceland, tomorrow, St. Thorlákur’s Mass in summer. Putrefied skate is traditionally eaten on St. Thorlákur’s Mass in winter, December 23, and this is a new tradition.

From Reykjanes peninsula. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

In addition to skate, salt fish and salted fish cheeks will be served and various performances will take place during dinner, which is a charity initiative, Morgunbladid reports.

Ásmundur Fridriksson, mayor of Gardur and the skate celebration’s organizer, said 240 people have already confirmed their attendance and he is expecting 300 guests in total—a full house.

“We who like skate use every opportunity to eat it and therefore this celebration has become very popular,” Fridriksson explained. This year the profits from the event will go to young people living at the center for people with disabilities at Gardur.

This is the fifth time that the celebration has been held at St. Thorlákur’s Mass in summer, July 20. On that day in 1198, the bones of Bishop Thorlákur Thórhallsson of Skálholt were unearthed to be used for invocation.

The bishop was called Thorlákur helgi, or Thorlákur the holy, and was considered a man of miracles in Iceland centuries before he became a recognized saint by the Catholic Church in 1985. He is the only Icelandic saint and the patron saint of Iceland.

Click here to read more about the tradition of skate eating on December 23.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!

Share article