On Fårö there are about 80 roofs made of Great Fen-Sedge.
The first Saturday in August, they gather every year for a Täckating as the event is called.
Täckating is pronounced [täck-A-ting] with a long a.
A roofing team consists of many people with different tasks.
A complete roofing team consists of a roofing chief (Agbas), men and women preparing the Great Fen-Sedge (Bykokarlar/Byxapeikor) and men on the roof.
Then it takes a lot of people who serve the roofing team with food and drink, and musicians who are responsible for the traditional music.
Ating is a Gotlandic word and means a working community. You work without being paid and receive food as a salary. Other examples of ating are those for mowing, carding and raking.
You start with breakfast at 7. For breakfast, herring, potatoes, bread, cheese and pork pancake are served.
The morning coffee, called Klucku tei, is served with coffee, cake and Halve, ie coffee with schnapps in it.
At lunch, the main meal is eaten. It consists of Kalops (a meat stew), herring, fruit soup and a schnapps.
At 15-16 it is Otendag which means afternoon coffee.
It is only when the roof is laid, which may take time considering the size of the roof, that dinner is served. Or the Atinggroiten as it is called, where smoked flounder with dill sauce and rice porridge is served. For those who still have the strength, it’s late dancing, singing and refreshments.
Täckating is a folk festival for young and old. For Fårö residents as for tourists.
If you want more than just watching, everyone is welcome to twist willows or put Great Fen-Sedge in the ropes that will then be laid on the roof.
Great Fen-Sedge is said to have been used as early as the 17th century and many believe that it was common as far back as the Iron Age.
Great Fen-Sedge is a semi-grass that grows in calcareous waters and in a large amount on Gotland. When bogs were dug out on the big island, the Great Fen-Sedge disappeared. However, this was not allowed to be done on Fårö and there the Great Fen-Sedge continued to grow and flourish.
The people of Fårö were the ones who primarily carried on the old roofing tradition.
Welcome to Fårö on the first Saturday in August to experience a slightly different folk festival!