Wheel of the Year - Norse celebrations

Wheel of the Year was a calendar that marked the main Norse celebrations. Like many non-Christian religions, Nordic folk kept a calendar governed by full moons and the different periods of the year that were divided by phases of the moon. Thus, like other ancient calendars, the most important days are associated with the days right after the Solstices and Equinoxes. Taking into account that the lunar cycle would be 21 days, it would give a total of about 13 months.


Documented Holidays "Birthdays" (Ynglinga Saga)

A major Nordic Holiday is described in the Ynglinga Saga as “on the first day of Winter there must be a sacrifice for a good year”, referring to the Winter Nights. It continues as “in the middle of winter there must be another sacrifice so that there can be a good harvest” referring to Yule, and a “third sacrifice must be made on Summer's day” as a victory sacrifice to Sigrblot.


In addition to these 3 special dates, there was a celebration that marked the change of the lunar month.

(Note: The days cannot be calculated with precision as they vary from the lunar calendar, not forgetting that each lunar cycle has 21 days and the constellations seen in that period of time vary from our actual times).


Each lunar cycle had its own name which was divided into two winter and summer seasons:


Winter months

Gormánuður - From mid-October to mid-November.

Yule - From mid-November to mid-December.

Mörsugur - From mid-December until around the first tenth of January.

Þorri - Beginning of the second of the tenth of January until the first tenth of February.

Gói - From the second tenth of February to the second tenth of March;

Einmánuður- From mid-March to mid-April;


Summer months

Gaukmánuður / Harp - Near mid-April to mid-May;

Skerpla - Near the middle of Middle until between the first and second December of June;

Sólmánuður - Second tenth of June to second tenth of July.

Heyannir/ Ormamánuður - Second tenth of July to mid-August;

Tvímánuður/ Kornskurðarmánuður - From mid-August to mid-September;

Haustmánuður - Mid-September to mid-October;


Late Moon

Silðimánuður - It is thought to be the 13th month.


Fun Fact !

It's funny how, nowadays, we use the word month that originates from the Germanic word for moon, as they were governed by the Lunar Calendar and not by the Gregorian Calendar as we use it today. However, many farmers and fishermen still resort to the Lunar calendar to determine the best time to sow their crops and to calculate the position of the tides in order to catch more fish.


Days of the week

Just as the word Month derived from Germanic, so did the days of the week evolved to our current English names:

Sunday - Sunnudagr; Monday - Mánadagr; Tuesday - Týsdagr; Wednesday - Óðinsdagr; Thursday - Þórsdagr; Friday - Frjádagr Saturday - Laugardagr

Sunnudagr - Sunna day; (Sun); Mánadagr - Day of Máni ; (Moon); Týsdagr - Day of Tyr; Óðinsdagr - Odin's day; Þórsdagr - day of Thor; Frjádagr - day of Freija; Laugardagr - Bath day;

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