Asatru Holiday Calendar
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Celebrating the feasts of one's religion is one of the duties when one is a believer.
In the pagan tradition, it allows, to ritualize his respect and love for nature, his ancestors and deities.
In the rest of this article, we will see the calendar of religious celebrations, specifically that of the Asatru religion.
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During the year, a little before each celebration, I will explain how to celebrate it as we go along.
Blòts (religious ceremonies) and celebrations :
January in the Asatru Calendar
9 January - Remembrance of Raud le Fort (a Norwegian chief killed by Olaf Tryggvason for refusing to convert to Christianity). Murdered with a horn in his throat and a poisonous snake at his other end.
18 January - Thorrablót (Imbolc): Sacred Feast of Thor, we thank Thor for his protection and help during the year.
February in the Asatru Calendar
February 2: This is the day we celebrate Frey and Gerd, a symbolic marriage of the god of fertility with Mother Earth. It is a fertility festival, where the planting of seeds begins (semi). It's time to start, prepare, plan for the coming season.
It is also Imbolc, candlemas, with the runes 'pertho, algiz and sowilo'.
* FEAST OF VALI
February 14: This feast was originally celebrated for Hodr, killed by Vali. This late winter feast relates the triumph and return of light and sunshine on the dark days of winter. In traditional families, it is the time for the exchange of wishes and greeting cards. It is also the time to renew wedding vows.
March in the Asatru Calendar
* HIGH FEST OF OSTARA
March 20: It is the spring equinox. The end of winter and the beginning of the birth season. We honor Frigga, Freya and Nerthus. During a ceremony, we pour water or any other liquid or drink on the earth, celebrating the rebirth of nature, of the practitioner, and for the hopes of the village inhabitants and the farmer.
The runes associated with this day are 'wunjo, ehwaz and berkana'.
- March 21: National Dísablót in Gamla Uppsala, Sweden (the sacrifice to the Dísir, takes place every nine years)
April in the Asatru Calendar
April 19: This day is the first day of summer, according to the old Icelandic calendar. Great agrarian activities take place. We also honor Sigurd, a heroic figure of the Sagas.
* YGGDRASIL DAY
April 25: This day marks the importance of the World Tree, its role in our culture, its heritage and the spiritual importance we give it. This day is set aside for us to worship, it is our home and the nature of our tradition. On this day, plant a tree, thinking about the importance of trees on earth.
April 30: Also known as Walpurgisnacht, or May Eve. Walburg is the ancestral goddess of the earth, combining some of the features of its fruits. Think of the darker sides of Freya, Hella and Frigga to get an idea of the characters of this goddess. We do a ceremony for Walburg by pouring black beer on the ground.
- April 30: Sigrblót (sacrifice for victory)
Mai in the Asatru Calendar
* MAY DAY
May 1st: Also Beltane. It is the time of great celebrations. The fields turn green, the flowers grow...Freya turns her clement face towards us after the night of Walburg. It is time to celebrate the birth of spring and we make offerings to Freya. It is also the night when Odin joins Frigga... it is Beltain after all...
The runes associated with this festival are mannaz, laguz and inguz.
May 17: We rejoice in mild weather and in the splendor of spring. A traditional time for camping or a picnic with friends. A ritual in honor of the Mother is held. We thank her for the health and vitality of the family. We also thank her for the fertility of the land she gave.
- May 15-22: SóknarÞing (the assembly for the settlement of sentences)
- May 22 to 30: SkuldaÞing (the meeting for the settlement of debts)
June in the Asatru Calendar
June 21: This is the longest day. And when you live beyond the 45th parallel, it's long! Sunna (the sun goddess) begins her long decline, pushing the darkness that will accumulate for the next six months, up to Yule. Identify the sun with Baldur's brilliance, and celebrate the honor of both symbols. Make a blessing to Sunna in the morning, in her first rays.
The runes of Midsummer are 'othila, dagaz and fehu'.
- 21 Juin : Sumarblót
July in the Asatru Calendar
August in the Asatru Calendar
August 23: Freyfaxi marks harvest day in Iceland. Dedicated to the god of harvests, it is time to celebrate with horses, practice martial sports and perform a ceremony in Frey's honor.
In September, on the 4th weekend, a festival celebrating the runes and the sacrifice Odin had to make to receive the knowledge of the runes.
September in the Asatru Calendar
- September 21: LeidÞing (the fall meeting, held at the local level)
September 22: It is the autumn equinox, the foundations of winter. The balance between summer and winter is in motion. Darkness will be more present and death will set in little by little. We then think about the importance of this season. We call Odin for inspiration and strength to get through the season of wind and cold and rain. A very difficult time for all northerners.
The runes of this festival are 'raidho, kenaz and gefu'.
October in the Asatru Calendar
October 11: In the Icelandic calendar, winter begins under Satyr's day between October 11 and 17. The winter nights celebrate the opulence of the crops and we honor Freya and the fertility spirits named Disir. We offer Freya and the Disir a ceremony by offering them milk or beer.
- October 15: Haustblót (the autumn sacrifice)
- October 29th, 30th and 31st: Vetrnætr (the first winter nights)
November in the Asatru Calendar
* FEAST TO EINHERJAR
November 11: The heroes who take their place in Odin's Hall are the Einherjar. This day is reserved for them and we raise our horns in their honor, as well as for the heroes who died on the battlefields.
* FEAST OF ULLER
November 27: It is the day of the hunt reserved for Uller. The personal luck necessary for this success is in order. The weapons are dedicated and chosen for him. Bless your arrows, bows or any other weapon before you go hunting. After killing your animal, save a piece for your altar. Celebrate!
December in the Asatru Calendar
* WINTERFILT/YULETIDE/MOTHER NIGHT
December 20: The Twelve Nights of Christmas. It's time to honor Thor and Frey. We decorate a tree or a yew tree that we enter our houses. We also light the Yulelog, the Christmas log that we watch burn all night long. It bears the rune Othila, engraved or drawn with white chalk.
It is also the time to honor the landwights (creature of the land) and the housewights (creature of the houses, ghosts). The women pay homage to Frigga by performing a female Seidhr ritual in front of the fireplace, before burning the Yulelog.
The runes of this festival are 'elhaz, jera and isa'.
- December 21st to January 1st: Jól / Winter YuleSolstice
Celebrations in the Asatru Calendar
The Ásatrú celebrations are similar to many other pagan celebrations and are essentially articulated around natural cycles. Our celebrations predate the Christian festivals (which only adapted polytheistic festivals to the Catholic world), and our celebrations have many symbols that are well known due to their commercial excesses...
For example, the Christmas tree is in fact the representation of the tree that does not die during the winter (it does not lose its leaves) and the balls that decorate it were in fact apples symbolizing eternal youth,
The Christmas log, or rather Jól log (or Yule log) was a log that burned all night of the winter solstice and represented the fire that did not go out during the longest night of the year.
As for the Easter eggs, it was the representation of the cosmic egg and the birth of spring.
Let's talk about spring and the Germanic goddess who brings it, Ostara, pulled on her sleigh by her hares that gave birth to the famous Easter rabbit.
Here, you will have understood it, we touch here on the origin of the holidays that you already know and that you celebrate every year.
Dates & Ceremonies
Many gatherings are not necessarily of interest to us (gatherings for sorrows or debts for example), I will limit myself to mentioning only a few essential dates:
* Vetrnætr (October 29 to 31)
Both the ancient Scandinavians and the Celts considered that the year had only two seasons: one cold and dark and the other warm and bright. Vetrnaær are the first nights of winter. Today they take place on October 29, 30 and 31, but I imagine they are related to the three days before the second full moon following the autumn equinox. These dates are close to the Celtic festival of Samhain which represents the new year (the ancestor of Halloween and All Saints' Day). The Álfablót (sacrifice to the elves) could well be placed on this date. The álfar would be luminous creatures linked to fertility, fortune and good harvests (sometimes to the dead). The blót dedicated to them is done on a private (family) scale and aims to seal pacts with the good spirits living in and around our home.
* Jólablót (December 21)
The sacrifice of the winter solstice is the feast celebrated in family, by the fire. It is a feast preceded by twelve nights where mothers are honored. This holiday is equivalent to Christmas.
It is the time of the year when gifts are given, stories are told by the fire and the previous year is reviewed. For me, it is also the most appropriate time of the year to draw the runes.
* Dísablót (March 21)
The sacrifice to the Dises was celebrated every nine years in Uppsala, Sweden. The Dises are the goddesses capable of predicting the future such as Freyja, Frigg or Skaði. A Germanic festival is celebrated annually on the same date, Ostara, where the goddess of the same name is honored, marking the return of spring. This festival is held at the spring equinox (around March 21).
It is a celebration of life, of birth, where one decides to renew alliances and pacts, where one takes new paths. If winter is appropriate for introspection and analysis of the past year, spring is the perfect time to regain the impetus to finish what one has started or to embark on new adventures.
* Sigrblót (April 30)
The sacrifice for the victory is realized around April 30. I have no information about this and it is a personal opinion but I imagine that this celebration was related to the May full moon (second full moon after the spring equinox).
If we follow the natural cycle of things, Sigrblót is a celebration that consolidates Dísablót. In the second case, we ask ourselves what we should do and we commit ourselves to it, whereas in the first case, we consolidate our strategy and make sure we succeed in our undertakings.
* Midsumarblót (June 21)
Summer Solstice Festival, this is a celebration highlighting the glorious, noble and clear aspect of life. Deities such as Freyr, Baldr or Tyre can be honored on this day.
* Leidþing (September 21)
The þing (thing) is a gathering, a meeting, an assembly. Some þings have not been named here like the SóknarÞing (settlement of penalties) or the SkuldaÞing (settlement of debts), but Leidþing is an autumnal assembly and takes place during the autumnal equinox. In the felag of the Rhone Valley clans, Haustblót is celebrated around September 21.
* Haustblót (October 15)
The autumn sacrifice is performed around the new moon of October (first new moon after the autumn equinox). The atmosphere of wild hunting (led by Oddhin) and the worship of the earth spirits seem to have more weight in this period. This date marks the action of fertilizing the soil before sowing the barley that will be harvested around the summer solstice.
Of course, the celebrations can take place at any time and for any condition (birthday, birth, wedding, moving, etc.). In general, the axes related to the equinoxes seem to emphasize the Vanes deities and the spirits of the earth (landvaettir) while the solstices honor the Aesir.
- Jòl (Yule, winter solstice): December 21st to January 1st.
- Disablòt: January 31, but can be celebrated on March 21 for the celebration in honor of the dìsìr.
- The Odinist Order celebrated it on March 21, 2013 and it will be celebrated 8 years later as is the tradition in Gamla Uppsala in Sweden.
- Thorrablòt / Imbolc: 1 February.
- Blòt in honor of Frey or Thor.
- The Celtic Imbolc can also be celebrated.
- Ostara /Disablòt: 21 March.
- Festival of the Goddess Ostara or Disablòt every 9 years.
- Planting of the May Tree (Der Mai Buam): May 1st.
- Midsommar (summer solstice): June 21.
- Leidthing (Autumn Assembly): September 21 (or around September 21, this is not a celebration related to Mother Nature so it is not necessary to be celebrated on a fixed date).
- Vetrnaetr (the first winter nights): 29, 30 and 31 October.
- An important festival in the Àsatrù calendar because it represents the beginning of the cold nights and the passage of the dead in our world, the celebration reaches its peak with Samhain on October 31.