Although nowadays the Nordic beliefs in which the Vikings believed and that involved a series of gods, Viking rituals and superstitions are considered a religion, these inhabitants of the North did not consider it that way. For them, religion was, in reality, a set of customs that, with the arrival of Christianity ('nýr sidr', the new custom), they became 'forn sidr', ancient customs.
Either way, this series of Viking beliefs and rituals were as intense and powerful as their culture , since they were composed of elements full of violence, death and sex. In this post we will see the ten most curious and we assure you that you will be relieved of, for example, not only have to support your brother-in-law on Christmas , But be sacrificed by your own family!
10 Viking rituals you may not know | Shocking
1. The terrifying Viking zombies
No, it's not about any cool title of any B series movie. The draugr , or zombies vikings , were creatures that, it was said, rose after death and had bright eyes, a huge force and a brutal plague. To prevent the dead from rising from their graves, the Vikings of the time had different rituals that involved hiding sticks in the clothes of the dead, piercing the soles of their feet with needles or putting scissors open on their chests.
2. The blot, the festival of gratitude
Another of the most curious and bloody Viking rituals is that of the blot, a festival in which the Norsemen showed their gratitude to the gods through the sacrifice of numerous creatures (usually animals, but not always: the legend says that the king of Sweden participated very actively in the blot ... as a sacrifice). The Vikings killed them on a stone altar and passed the blood and carcasses of the victims while chanting ritual songs.
3. The man, like the bear ...
Some of the most curious Viking rituals are not only composed of blood and viscera, but are rituals of beauty in every rule. For example, it is known that the Vikings worshiped blond hair above all else, and that they were able to bleach their hair and beard with a very strong soap based on bleach that, by the way, eliminated lice and nits.
4. Christmas rituals
During the winter solstice (what would correspond to our Christmas, which incidentally has its origin in the solstice), the Vikings participated in rituals that sought the favor of the gods . For this, they drank large quantities of alcohol, disguised the smallest of the goats that pulled Odin's car, decorated trees with clothes and other objects. They do not differ so much from our celebrations, although the Vikings also used to light a wheel of fire and throw it downhill to pray for the return of the sun.
5. Rituals of battles
Some Viking rituals seek the victory of the many battles that were fought in those times. The Vikings, who were very superstitious, had numerous rituals to win. For example, they were attentive to any sign of the weather that could be a good or bad omen, marked the weapons with which they would go to battle with magical symbols of protection and sacrificed animals such as bears, bulls ...
6. Berserkers, the Vikings extra Vikings
The berserkers they were extra-rough Vikings, who did not wear armor (they covered themselves with the skins of their totemic animal, like bears or wolves) and only their hands and teeth to fight. To achieve this state of extraordinary fierceness, a series of Viking rituals were required that submerged the warriors in self-hypnosis, for example, living in the forest like a wild animal, fasting, dancing ritual dances or undergoing extreme pain or temperature.
7. The death of a chief was an additional sacrifice
The funerary rituals when dying the head of a Viking tribe not only supposed to cremate their rest , but other more extreme celebrations: one of the slaves of the boss volunteered to accompany him to the next life. For this, he had to sleep with all the men of the tribe before being strangled and stabbed by the matriarch.
8. Marriage customs
Other Viking rituals were somewhat quieter. For example, weddings were always celebrated on Friday (since it is 'the day of Frigg', one of the goddesses of fertility) and meant that the bride took off her kransen , an accessory for the hair that indicated its singleness and that happened of mothers to daughters) and that the groom took a sword of its ancestors. After the wedding, a great party was celebrated and the marriage was consummated.
9. The blood eagle, one of the worst methods of execution
One of the worst execution methods of the time, the blood eagle it involved putting the victim face down , carve an eagle with wings extended in the back, break the ribs and remove them through the hole, creating artificial and terrible wings. As "cherry", they also took the lungs of the victim (who was still alive) and placed themselves above the ribs until, this time, he died.
10. Modification of teeth
Maybe to instill fear in the enemy, the Norsemen had among their Viking rituals Modify your teeth in different ways, to which more surprising. Not only were colored teeth painted (it seems that the one they liked the most was red), but they also recorded a series of horizontal lines on the front teeth that also covered with dye.
We hope you liked this article on Viking rituals and that you have left with your mouth open. Tell us, which has impacted you the most? Is there any that we have left? Remember that you can leave the comments you want, we will be happy to read you!