Viking culture

Welcome to our Viking culture and history blog, where we discuss all things Norse. Oh and you can find out latest product updates here as well!

A wild pack of wolves in Germany.

Wolves Return To Germany

Europeans have long maintained an uneasy relationship with wolves. They loom large in our collective memory.

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Hand-drawn illustration of Asgard with Odin's tower

Hlidskjalf: A Place To View The Cosmos

Odin’s Tower is named after "Hlidskjalf", the high-seat of from which Odin watches out over the entire universe.

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Ask and Embla

From each creator Ask and Embla received a gift: Odin gave them life, Hœnir gave them understanding, and Lodur gave them their senses and human appearance. The gods decided the humans should live in the realm of Midgard - the only one completely visible to mankind.

A warrior confronting a group of Ulfhednar werewolves in the snow.

Tales of the Úlfhéðnar

The legend of the werewolf has links to pre-Christian Germanic culture. Tales of the Úlfhéðnar, a band of elite Viking warriors who wore wolfskins into battle, was the genesis of middle-age fear of "men transforming into wolves".

Check out more of Jakub Rozalski's art in his book "Howling At The Moon" on Amazon.com

Einar Selvik from Nordic folk band Wardruna, staring through a tribal bone carving.

Wardruna – Kvitravn

Kvitravn, meaning ‘White Raven,’ is the latest record from Wardruna. Following the Runaljod trilogy, Kvitravn deals with motifs of Northern sorcery, animism and Norse spirituality. The album has received rave reviews, and we'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Do you think it is as good as previous albums?

Vinyl LP and CD available on Amazon:
https://amzn.to/3ldrktT

An Up Helly Aa Viking holding and axe at the Up Helly Aa fire festival in the Shetland Islands.

Up Helly Aa

Thousands of people have gathered for the world-famous Up Helly Aa fire festival on Shetland, Scotland. The festival takes place in Lerwick in January each year, when people dressed as Vikings march through the streets of the town to recreate its ancient Norse past. The procession is led by the "Chief Guizer", and culminates in a replica longboat being set alight.

You can follow all the action with live updates here: https://www.uphellyaa.org

Thorrablot

The Icelandic midwinter festival Thorrablot has begun, running from mid-January to mid-February. Originally a sacrificial festival, it was abolished during the Christianisation of Iceland but revived in the 19th century. It is now a celebration of unusual delicacies such as boiled sheep’s head, fermented shark and cured ram’s testicles. Many of the festival feasts involve food cured with lactic acid, fermented or dried, to harkening back to a time without refrigeration.

A bear-chested Viking drinking mead from a Viking Drinking Horn.

Vista Viking Festival

Step back a thousand years into the Viking village at California's premiere Norse culture event, the Vista Viking Festival. The festival features two stages of live music and entertainment as well as many hands-on activities, such battle reenactments, blacksmithing, archery, axe throwing and horn blowing. If you’re in the area be sure to check it out: https://vistavikingfestival.com

The “skute”

The “skute” was a small class of Viking ship used for passenger transport, small journeys and situations where a larger ship was impractical. If you were living in the Viking age, this type of widely used ship would be a common sight.

Crowd watching a burning Viking ship at the Largs Viking Festival.

Largs Viking Festival

The small Scottish seaside town of Largs will host its annual Viking festival from 1st to 9th September, 2018. The festival commemorates the 1263 Battle Of Largs, an engagement between local Scottish forces and a Viking longship fleet, which was attempting to reinforce Norwegian control over the western seaboard of Scotland. This battle contributed to Norway’s secession of the Hebrides back to Scotland 3 years.

http://www.largsvikingfestival.com

Odin The Allfather with his wolves Geri and Freki, and his ravens Huginn and Muninn.

Lord Of Storms Am I

"I am the unknown Will, The Anger that threatens glory and ruin:
Lord of Storms am I, in heaven high and caverns deep.
I am the Father of the War, Odin for you, Wotan for him,
Wayfarer, Wanderer, beggar, king, numen, genius, strength and ring."
- The Saga of Teutoburg

A viking warrior with sword, deep in thought.

Saga of the Volsungs

“Each man must at one time die. No one may escape dying that once, and it is my counsel that we not flee, but for our own part act the bravest.” - Saga of the Volsungs

A table showing a Lammas bread loaf in symbolic wheat inspired arrangement.

Lammas harvest festival

The ancient harvest festival of Lammas is nearly upon us. While not widely celebrated in modern times, it is a good occasion to give thanks for the abundance of food we enjoy today and the farmers who work hard to produce it. It is also a time to reflect on the life and death struggle our ancestors had in putting food on the table.

More about Lammas

Young people celebrating at a Kupala Night Bonfire. It is a Slavic pagan ritual, celebrated in Russia, Belarus, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine.

Kupala Night

The ancient Slavs celebrated midsummer with joyful outdoor rituals and festivities. These folk traditions are carried on to this day in the form of “Kupala Night", a festival named after the god of love and the harvest. Young couples jump over bonfires, dance, sing, and play games that celebrate life, fertility and their ancestral folk traditions.