Viking Calendar: Year with 2 Seasons and New Year Started in Summer

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Viking Calendar: Year with 2 Seasons and New Year Started in Summer

In this day and age, the importance of calendar is simply to mark the vital events. But looking back, a calendar means more than just a paper to remember the day. It consists of a traditional culture, ancient lifestyle, and even the mindset of the people. And in the Viking age, the calendar was divided into two seasons: Summer and Winter. And summer was the starting time for the new year. 

How the Vikings Constructed Their Calendar?

Few as the Scandinavian materials about their life might be, there are accounts saying that the Vikings divided their year into two seasons: Summer and Winter. The Vikings had no exact year number to say. Instead, they had their own way by saying the year after important events. For example, one could say that "three winters after the Battle of Assandun". That was the unique way of the Vikings to mention the year. 

How the Vikings Divided their Months?

Based on the height of the sun in the sky, the Vikings divided their years into seasons and more specifically, into months. The two major long periods were the summer and the winter. The Vikings also counted the age of theirs by counting how many winters they had been through. This meant that the first day of summer, commonly in the middle of April was their "New Year" which we don't know whether the Vikings called it new year or not. 

The darker period of the year was known as Skammdegí which means the Dark Days. Meanwhile, the brighter period which was helpful for their cultivation was Nóttleysa. This "Nóttleysa" means "insomnia". 

Image of Viking calendar

The Vikings divided their time into two major seasons: summer and winter

As the image indicates, there were twelve months in the Viking calendar. Gormanuður, Ylir, Morsugur, Þorri, Goa and Einmanuður were for the winter months while Harpa, Skerpla, Solmanuður, Heyannir, Tvimanuður and Haustmanuður were the summer months. 

In some years, there appeared the 13th month which we know it by the name "Late Month" Silðemanuður.

The Weekdays of the Vikings

Norse Weekday What We Use Today  Norse Meaning
Mánadagr Monday Moon's Day (Day for Mani who drove Moon across the Norse sky)
Týsdagr Tuesday Tyr's Day (Tyr was God of Justice and Honor)
Óðinsdagr Wednesday Odin's Day (Odin was the ruler of Asgard and the God of War)
Þórsdagr Thursday Thor's Day (Thor was God of Lightning and Thunder)
Frjádagr Friday Frigg's Day (Frigg was Odin's wife who was Goddess of Love and Motherhood)
Or Freya's Day (Freya was Goddess of War)
Sunnudagr Sunday Sun's Day (Day for Sol who carried the Sun across the Norse sky)
Laugardagr Saturday Bath Day

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