5 Awesome Facts About The Viking Wedding Rituals

Posted by Ms Elly on

5 Awesome Facts About The Viking Wedding Rituals

Everything that the Vikings did in their life seemed to connect with the Norse Pantheon. So it is very interesting to learn about the Viking rituals from which we can see how much the Vikings respected their gods. This blog post is going to list out top 5 awesome facts about the Viking wedding rituals. 

1. Even the Vikings married because of love, the two families' connection was seriously taken into consideration. 

For the Vikings, the marriage was not only for the couple but for their families as well. Because of this fact, the Viking wedding was a long process. The type of union in the Viking wedding had a long-lasting power as it affected both of the families' property and the inheritance. Accordingly, to be sure of the property and material matter, the Vikings had to carefully negotiate before the couple became finally responsible for each other. 

Image of Viking wedding ritual

The Vikings married not only for love but also for the good of their family

Right from the beginning of the marriage, the groom's family including the groom, parents, and the legal members would come together to decide the bride's dowry, the groom's property, the wedding gift to the bride's family and to set the wedding date. Later, the groom's family would come and bring their proposal to the bride's family. They promised to support the bride's family as well as discuss the bilateral beneficial and financial terms for the two families. 

2. The Vikings set the date for the wedding with many consideration and could even delay the wedding for years. 

Commonly, the Vikings would choose to celebrate their wedding on Friday. Because Friday in the Viking belief was the Frigg's day. Frigg was the Viking goddess of love, marriage, and motherhood in Norse mythology. The Viking wedding often lasted for a week and the family and the guests would come and join the party. There was hardly any Viking wedding during the winter. Because the winter in the Scandinavian lands was very severe. The snow would make the travel impossible. Other considerations that the Vikings paid more attention were the food and drink, accommodations, and the special ale for the couple in the beginning of the party. 

To meet all the traditional standard and satisfy all the members of the family, the consideration process could prolong the date of the wedding. Some Viking accounts even told that there was a case when the groom had to wait for 3 years to get himself a wife. 

3. The brides washed away their maidenhood

Before the couple tied the knot, they had to separate to prepare for this life transition phase. For the bride, this meant she had to rid of any clothing or symbol of unwed status. For example, she would give up her kransen, a circlet worn by the Viking girls, and store it for her future daughter. She would change her kransen into a bride crown. 

The bride also had to cleanse herself in the bath. Hot stone would be placed in the bathtub. After bathing with the hot water, the bride would clean herself with the cold water as an action of washing the maidenhood away. During the whole process, mother and female relatives would join to help the bride. 

4. The grooms had to undergo a sword ceremony symbolising death and reborn

Like the future wives, the husbands had to experience some processes to show his power to protect himself and his future family. The process was somewhat easy though. 

Fathers and friends of his would challenge him to go into a grave in order to take back the sword of his ancestors. The groom entered the grave site and went out with a sword. Through his action, he came to the grave as a little boy and emerged as a real man wielding a sword. 

Image of Viking boys Viking sons

Viking grooms had to experience some challenges before they won himself a wife

5. Sometimes the Vikings had to sacrifice a goat to make their wedding happen

After some traditional Viking first steps were carried out, the Vikings sometimes had to make a sacrifice to the gods to thank them for letting the couple find each other and wish for a better future. Because in the Viking belief, god Thor was so generous that he would give blessing to the ceremonies like the wedding. So sometimes the Vikings sacrificed a goat to call up for Thor's help as goat pulled Thor's chariot. 

The blood of the goat was stored in a bowl and placed in the temple. The twig would be dipped into the blood and sprinkle the couple as a way to offer the blessings of the gods. 

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