How to Toast like a Viking?
The Viking drinking tradition was not basically the deed of gulping down any beverages during their feasts. The fact was that they valued their drinking tradition because it was their ancestral heritage and lifestyles. If you are truly interested in Viking drinking and their toasting actions, here are some tips for you to acquire the Viking toasting style.
1. Pick a good drink
Due to the connection with Odin the Allfather, the Mead was very preferred by the Vikings. But beyond the taste and quality of the mead, they cared about the purpose. Mead was considered to be a sacred drink. Because in Norse mythology, Mead of Poetry was made from the blood of the wisest Norse creature and had some powers, for example speaking in the poem or persuading anyone with words. Thereby, the Vikings once used it for formal rituals and ceremonies.
Homemade honey mead
But what if you don’t have any mead around? Consider your favorite alcoholic beverages, such as beer or ale, especially it was the home-made ale or beer. It is really worth the toast. You can also pick a traditional Scandinavian drink like glogg, a type of seasonal mulled wine.
2. Pick a good cup
Every Viking enjoyed their drink in their drinking horns. Turning back to Norse myth, Odin once drank the Mead of Poetry in the drinking horns. This may reason why the Vikings favored their drinking horns in such a way. And in this day and age, if you want to try the toasting tradition of the Viking, it is important that you choose your own awesome drinking cup. Of course, if your awesome drinking cup is a teacup, we have nothing to do with it. But if you truly want to try the Viking toasting culture, try a true Viking drinking horn. We believe that the drinking horn will suit the context better than anything.
Viking Drinking Horn
If you don’t have any Viking drinking horn around, consider finding something valuable and storied. For example, an old pint glass from your grandfather or the clay mug made of your kids will solve the problem. Yes, find something special and of emotional value.
3. Pick your words
Toasting was no drinking only. It consisted of words saying, praises spreading, and eye contacting. We often see the Viking warriors as savage men with few words. In fact, they were not. The Vikings liked people spoke with intellect. Maybe this was affected by the Norse tales of Mead of Poetry. A good Viking toaster could come up with many cool ideas for toasting. And if you are not good at this, practice is recommended.
A Viking toast that we came across during our research was that:
If you find your toasting intimidating in your first drink, try it when you have drunk more. Because the Vikings believed they spoke better when they drank, of course not being completely drunken.
4. Pick a good occasion
The last missing piece to complete these tips is the occasion. You need to find a special occasion for toasting. The Vikings often toasted after they had slain their enemies and survived the battles. But our times, slaying is obviously a deed of crime and will be severely punished. Thereby, we need to think outside the box.
Are you invited to any friend or relatives’ weddings or birthdays? Or do you have any friend who just got promoted? Any happy occasions that might happen in your life are your good chance to practice the Viking toasting culture. Any funny and entertaining comparison between the events you are attending and the Viking events of winning is highly recommended.
Overall, the Viking toasting tradition is part and parcel in the Viking traditions. To express your Viking heart, learning how to toast like a Viking is worth the try. So go on and carry it out even if the first time is not as good as you expect. But we believe your practice will pay off soon. The result will not be disappointing.
May Odin’s wisdom shine brightly on your words.
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