This is Why the Vikings Always Cut and Keep Nails Clean

Posted by Ms Elly on

This is Why the Vikings Always Cut and Keep Nails Clean

Archaeological evidence shows that the Vikings were pretty clean compared with other tribes living in their time. For example, the Vikings would bathe weekly or even daily while people of other tribes would bathe once a year. The Christians even refused to bathe. We are yet to thoroughly explain why the Vikings always kept themselves clean.

One awesome theory is that the Vikings cut and kept their nails clean because they wanted to prevent Ragnarok

We learn that the Viking culture was deeply influenced by Norse mythology. Viking belief in Norse mythology was vividly reflected in their habit and lifestyle: They cut their nails often. 

So what really happened in Norse mythology? 

The only one thing that Norse Pantheon was afraid of was Ragnarok - the Doom of Gods. Ever since the beginning of Norse mythology, readers learn about Ragnarok the universal disaster that destroyed Norse gods' glory. 

Ragnarok in Norse mythology

When Gullinkambi the rooster living in Valhalla crowed, the warriors in Valhalla and Folkvangr woke up picking up their weapons and ready to join the battle. The sky broke into pieces and the Great Tree of Life Yggdrasil trembled.

Odin had been preparing for this final battle. Although gods attempted to prevent Ragnarok, Ragnarok happened as the prophecy told. 

The side of the giant got ready to crash the gate of Asgard. Fenrir the wolf swallowed whatever he saw in the path to Asgard. Jormungandr poisoned the sky with his terrible breath. And Hel sent the dead from her realm to join the army of Loki. 

Hel sent the ship Naglfar to join the battle. This ship would have been nothing special if it had not been for the material that built the ship. It was made from the nails of the deceased. All the nails of the deceased in Helheim were cut and gathered to build the ship. It carried the dead to Asgard and join the battle. 

Naglfar ship in Ragnarok Norse mythology Why the Vikings cut their nails often

Accordingly, the Vikings didn't want Hel to have the ship. Deeply they wanted to help the gods to prevent Ragnarok. Cutting the nails was the best way to prevent the disaster. 

Overall, the reason why the Vikings always kept their nails clean and cut their nails was that of their faith in Norse mythology. The Vikings were trying to help the gods with preventing Ragnarok. 

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