Today, we eat copious amounts of salted meat and yellow peas. Why? Because it’s Nordic Mardi Gras, or Bursting Day.
Does the above photo whet your appetite? Then Bursting Day (Sprengidagur) might very well be the holiday for you. Salted lamb meat and yellow peas are the centerpiece of this holiday, which might seem a bit like having your dinner after eating dessert, but reversing the natural order of things is healthy every once in a while.
During the time of the earliest mentions of Sprengidagur, in the mid 18th century, smoked lamb was typically eaten. In those days, salt was actually in short supply, but by the late 19th century, salted lamb replaced its smoked counterpart as the main course for this holiday meal.
Many restaurants in town will be open on this day, and a good many of them may be offering salted lamb and yellow peas. Do keep in mind to make your portions reasonable, though, as overconsumption can lead to disastrous consequences.
Filling up on meat and starch will also give you the energy you need when facing Öskudagur, which falls upon us tomorrow. More on that to come!